Through the Eyes of a Patient: Leading Causes of Cancer Misdiagnosis

Updated on January 10, 2023

As a healthcare professional, you may feel that some of the time a misdiagnosis should be overlooked. After all, it is possible to miss something relatively small and almost undetectable. The operative word here is ‘almost’ which means that an astute physician would continue ordering scans and labs until the slight abnormality presenting in a patient is diagnosed. Sadly, that seemingly “small” issue can be huge in the life of a patient. So then, perhaps it would be best to look at a cancer misdiagnosis from the eyes of that patient who went untreated because cancer wasn’t detected.

Advice Patients Are Given After a Misdiagnosis

Everyone in the life of that patient who was recently misdiagnosed has advice to offer. Typically, cancer was detected because those family members insisted the patient get a second opinion. This is where cancer was finally found but, unfortunately, it had also probably advanced a stage or two. Bear in mind that the longer cancer is left untreated, the harder it gets to treat.

The advice that should hold the most weight would be advice from cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at RB Law. There are times when the same doctor who misdiagnosed the patient has also been found ‘guilty’ of misdiagnosing other patients leading to lawsuits handled by the same attorneys they are consulting. If they believe the patient has a valid claim, then by all means that is what they should do. With enough claims being made, the medical board might investigate to see if that doctor’s license should be revoked. Again, as a medical professional, a doctor no less, you know what that can mean for your future and those loans you are probably still repaying.

Adding to the Fear of the Big “C”

Whenever patients are diagnosed with cancer, they automatically believe they have been given a death sentence. It’s only human nature to fear the unknown and in terms of cancer, there is so much yet we do not know. Once cancer is discovered that went undiagnosed in the past, they almost always fear the worst. The amount of stress they experience does nothing to help recovery, if recovery is even possible at this stage of its development.

It’s a Matter of Ethics

In the very beginning you took an oath that weighs heavily on ethics. Since you are dealing with human life, it is your responsibility to protect that life at all costs. Patients look at it as if the doctor misdiagnosing their form of cancer could have dug deeper. After all, the symptoms were still there and no further tests were ordered. Ethical practice demands that you do everything in your power to get to the root of any problem a patient is experiencing and when an ‘issue’ can be as life-threatening as certain forms of cancer, any symptom linked to cancer should be seriously considered. It doesn’t take swearing an oath to act with a moral sense of ethical behavior.

This is not to say that 99.999% of all doctors aren’t acting responsibly. It is unfortunately that .001% who misdiagnose something as serious as cancer that we are concerned with here. Most doctors work long hours, longer than the hours their patients work, and do their very best to give their patients superior care. The point in all this is to remind you of your oath and to thank you for being among those who actually care. For those of you who trample on that oath, it’s time to rethink your nonchalance. A person’s life is at stake and that’s what really matters.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.