False Positive Cancer Misdiagnosis: Serious Consequences For Patients
Hearing that you have cancer is life-changing in many ways, so you would probably welcome the news when you learn that a health care provider made a mistake with your diagnosis. However, your mind could change quickly if you have already undergone severe, harsh medical treatment after a false-positive cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is somewhat common. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the rate of false-positive cancer diagnosis could be as high as 97.5 percent. To provide some context, the study focused on lung cancer and many others show misdiagnosis as being lower.
Any cancer misdiagnosis has profound implications for a patient, but you might not expect how a false-positive impacts your life. The losses can be considerable, so it is reassuring to know that Florida medical malpractice laws protect your interests. You should discuss options with a Tampa cancer misdiagnosis lawyer, and read on for some general information.
How Florida Health Care Providers Treat Cancer
The approach to cancer care will depend upon the type, stage, and your own physical health. Oncologists and other treating physicians may employ such strategies as:
- Surgery: Early stage cancer may be treatable by removing the affected cells or tumor, along with treatment in the surrounding tissue. However, if the cancer has metastasized, i.e., spread to other parts of the body, surgery will typically not be an option.
- Radiation Therapy: A physician might be able to treat some cancers by targeting affected and aiming high-energy rays to kill cancerous cells. This treatment is similar to an x-ray, but the radiation is much more powerful.
- Chemotherapy: Intense drug therapy is often useful for shrinking or killing off cancerous cells, and chemo is often used in conjunction with the other forms of cancer treatment. These drugs travel throughout the body, so they have an impact on healthy cells.
Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
From the above descriptions, you can see that cancer treatment is harsh, invasive, and aggressive. The consequences vary, particularly with radiation which is targeted at a specific part of the body. Some side effects of cancer care include:
- Hair loss;
- Skin redness, irritation, and peeling;
- Nausea and vomiting, which in turn can lead to an unhealthy drop in weight;
- Surgical site infection;
- Mouth sores and throat irritation;
- Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath;
- Kidney and bladder disorders;
- Issues with sexual function and fertility; and
- Many others.
When a patient receives a proper cancer diagnosis, these side effects are – yet, they are necessary to achieve the best patient outcomes. A false-positive cancer misdiagnosis means you could undergo this severe treatment and experience horrific side effects for no reason.
Consult with a Hillsborough County Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
Despite the relief you feel at not having cancer, a false-positive diagnosis can lead to serious harm. To learn more about your legal remedies under Florida med mal laws, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. You can schedule a no-cost case review at our offices in Tampa, FL by calling 813.223.7849 or visiting us online.