You trust your medical team to deal with any condition that creeps into your life. While it’s important to receive medical treatment when necessary, don’t assume that your doctor is always making the right decisions.
Unfortunately, there are many commonly misdiagnosed conditions. If one of these slips through the cracks, it can result in additional harm.
Here are four conditions that are often misdiagnosed, even by the most experienced doctors:
- Cancer: An extremely dangerous condition to misdiagnose, as cancer can quickly spread to other parts of the body. There are many forms of cancer, with breast, lung and colorectal among the most commonly misdiagnosed. If you have symptoms that won’t go away, continue to push your medical team until they find an answer.
- Heart attack: You would think that a heart attack is simple to diagnose, but that’s not always true. Since it shares symptoms with less serious ailments, such as indigestion, it’s possible for your doctor to misdiagnose this serious condition.
- Pulmonary embolism: This happens when a blood clot reaches or forms in the lungs. Symptoms include chest pain, wheezing and coughing, all of which are often associated with the common chest cold.
- Stroke: When a stroke comes on fast, it’s often easy for your doctor to diagnose. However, with a slower onset, it’s possible your doctor will overlook exactly what’s going on. Symptoms typically include difficulty speaking, poor coordination and confusion.
How to protect yourself
There is no guaranteed way to prevent a medical misdiagnoses, but there are things you can do to better protect yourself. Consider the following:
- Track and share all your symptoms with your medical team
- Follow up if your symptoms don’t improve
- Don’t let your doctor ignore abnormal test results
- Get a second opinion as soon as possible
If you have been the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, turn your attention to your health and well-being. You need to understand exactly what’s going on and how to fix it.
Once you understand your condition and prognosis, look into the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. You have the right to hold the negligent doctor responsible for misdiagnosing your condition.