Cancer Misdiagnosis: Getting a second opinion

Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? If that is the case, you may want to get a second opinion. Before you make any life altering decisions, you should definitely hear from more than one doctor.

The main reason is that people make mistakes and there are a lot of unqualified doctors out there. They aren’t going to inform you that they really are not sure because that would ruin their credibility. They are the expert and they expect you to just listen to what they say. But what if they are wrong?

How Is It Diagnosed?

Most of the time, cancer is diagnosed and detected when a patient is being seen for another reason. It starts with a physical along with information about a patient’s history. Lab tests, including blood, urine, and stool tests will also be conducted to detect any abnormalities that may be cancer.

If a tumor is detected, the patient may undergo a computed tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray, or ultrasound to find the location and size of the tumor. A sample of the tumor may also be taken so that the tumor can be removed and studied through a biopsy. The specimen is studied under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present.

The problem is that it really doesn’t stop there. If they do find cancerous cells in the body, the doctors still need to find out whether or not the cancer is localized or if it has spread to other parts of the body.

Most of the time, if it is localized and early enough, the cancer may be destroyed or removed and the patient may be rid of the symptoms and considered to be in remission. If the cancer has spread throughout the body, it may be necessary to take further action to eradicate it.

What to Do Once You Get a Diagnosis?

A misdiagnosis of the severity of the case can be dangerous or deadly. If cancer cells are present in the body, you want to make sure that the best measures are taken to ensure that it is handled properly. You don’t have time to get it wrong because a wrong decision can lead to a deadly result.

For example, if your doctor believes that the cancer is localized to one region and they treat that region and it really has spread to other parts of the body, you may choose a localized treatment option and that may allow the untreated areas to spread. Early detection is so important in beating this disease.

If your doctor informs you that they have found cancerous cells, you need to make sure that everything is done to find out the severity of the case. A second opinion may be the key that you need to make the right decision about how to defeat the disease.

What Are the Treatments for Cancer?

There are many different types of cancer treatments from surgery to remove the infected tissue to chemotherapy. It all depends on how aggressive the cancer is and how strong your body is. A harsh treatment plan for an unhealthy patient may cause results worse than the cancer itself. There is no real way to know what will work and how your body will respond. Your doctor may give you suggestions based on his experiences and knowledge with the subject but it is not the best idea to just get one opinion.

Remember that it is just your doctor’s opinion. He doesn’t have a crystal ball. He can give you a year and you live ten or the other way around. You need to get the most information that you can to make sure that you have made an informed decision. Don’t just get one doctor’s opinion. Get a second opinion or even a third opinion and use all of the information to make a decision that works best for you.

References

Treatments and Side Effects. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/index

Understanding Cancer – Diagnosis and Treatment. Cancer Health Center. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cancer/understanding-cancer-treatment

Author: Dr. George Stanislaw

Dr. Stanislaw lost his brother to a surgical procedure gone wrong. Now he dedicates his life and his practice to advocating for victims of medical malpractice.

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