When you’re ill, you trust your doctor to help. A delayed or inaccurate diagnosis can cause a bad situation to worsen. Cancer is a type of disease that can progress rapidly. The longer it goes undiagnosed, the more difficult the recovery will be for the patient.
Because cancer spreads rapidly, getting an accurate diagnosis is key to beating the disease. If the diagnosis is delayed for too long treatment can be difficult and the disease may prove fatal.
What types of cancer frequently get misdiagnosed?
When cancer is misdiagnosed, treatment is delayed. The most frequently misdiagnosed types of cancer include:
Colon cancer can be detected with a colonoscopy. If detected early, 91% of patients will survive this type of cancer. However, once colon cancer reaches stage four the survival rate drop to one in every fourteen patients.
Breast cancer is highly treatable if detected early. In fact, patients with stage one breast cancer have a nearly 100% chance of survival. If the disease is misdiagnosed, the survival rate drops dramatically.
Lung cancer is often misdiagnosed because it is slower to show up than other types of cancers.
When should you get a second opinion?
If your doctor says you’re fine, but you’re not so sure, you should get a second opinion. This is particularly true when:
- Your doctor is not confident about his diagnosis.
- You notice symptoms getting worse
- You feel that your doctor isn’t taking your symptoms seriously
- You’re told you have a rare type of cancer.
Always trust your instincts. If you feel like something still isn’t right after seeing your doctor, seek a second opinion as soon as possible.
If your cancer treatment was delayed because of a misdiagnosis, seek assistance to review your options.