When you are sick and fatigued, it is easy to identify that you are ill. But when it comes to cancer, many times people are unaware of its existence until a doctor officially diagnoses it. Once diagnosed, doctors need to move fast to prevent spreading using chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other treatments.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating, but a misdiagnosis can be traumatic. It is estimated that 1.3 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Misdiagnosis stories are becoming an issue at an alarming rate and can cause emotional and physical damage to patients.
Here are some things you can do to get the right diagnosis from your doctor.
Write Down Your Symptoms
If you have any symptoms, write them all down for reference. This includes any type of pain or discomfort, time of day they appear and their level of severity.
Plan for your appointment
Before your first appointment, gather all of your medical records that include any medicines you have recently taken, surgical procedures, and any test records and their results.
Ask Questions and Know the Risks
Misdiagnosis mistakes most often happen in tissue from the skin, prostate, breast and female reproductive tract. Make sure to address any confusion you may have about your diagnosis and ask your doctor questions about procedures, risks and alternatives.
Seek a Second Opinion
Don’t be afraid to second guess your doctor. Before moving forward, get an expert opinion from another doctor or pathologist. This can minimize the probability of a misdiagnosis and help ensure that you are getting the right treatment for your symptoms.
If you, a family member, or someone you know have experienced a misdiagnosis due to a what you believe is a doctor’s negligence, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case. For help building a case and for guidance through the legal system, call a O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss attorney. Our experienced team can offer you the help you need.
Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (877) 235-8002.
Image courtesy of Danny Sands/Wikipedia.