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How can cancer be misdiagnosed?

Those in Quincy who have been given the dreaded news that they have cancer will tell you that receiving such a diagnosis and dealing with the emotional stress that accompanies it can exact just as great a toll as the cancer itself. If you were given such a diagnosis, yet later found out it was incorrect, most would assume that your first impulse would be to jump for joy. Yet if you are like most who receive such news, then your thoughts are like focused on why a doctor would misdiagnose you with cancer in the first place.

Information gathered by the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal and shared by Boston Magazine puts the percentage of patients misdiagnosed with cancer at 28 percent. When considering why such cases occur, the same Boston Magazine article went on to say that according to doctors themselves, they believe cancer misdiagnoses occur because of the following factors:

  •          Relying on incomplete or fragmented information coming in from multiple medical information systems.
  •          Limited diagnostic resources.
  •          Limited access to a patient’s genetic information at the time of diagnosis.

While it should be understood that doctors are subject to the limitations of their industry, your expectation should also be that your doctor would only make the decision to tell you that you have cancer after his or her suspicions were confirmed through clinical testing. A failure to do so could cause you untold stress and panic unnecessarily if it is later found out the diagnosis was incorrect. You may have even gone so far as to have received treatment, whose side effects could result in physical harm. This may leave you with a strong claim for medical malpractice to help you compensate for all the pain you were forced to endure.   

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Giarrusso Norton Cooley & McGlone, P.C.
Marina Bay
308 Victory Road
Quincy, MA 02171

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