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Misdiagnosis can lead to medical malpractice claims

A medical misdiagnosis can be life-changing for Pennsylvania patients. The thought of undergoing invasive treatment and months of radiation or delaying treatment because one was informed that he or she was not in need of treatment can have far reaching implications. Although the occurrence is rare, a medical misdiagnosis still happens, and the patient is left to navigate the options of what treatment is best. When the diagnosis turns out to be incorrect, a medical malpractice claim could follow.

One unidentified female patient was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent removal of the lump that was suspected as cancerous. She then chose a more aggressive approach and a bilateral mastectomy to prevent spread of the disease. It was later found that the woman was misdiagnosed, and she did not have cancer at all.

The facility and lab where the erroneous tests were conducted has found more cases of missed diagnosis. The lab reports that about 25 patients received the wrong results with regard to cancer screenings. Of those 25, only 19 followed up with a second opinion to get the correct results prior to seeking medical intervention.

Following up with a second opinion and further testing may be what is necessary to avoid false diagnosis of life-altering and sometimes fatal diseases. With regard to cancer, it is crucial for the patient and his or her care provider to know what type and how advanced the disease is to form a plan of correct treatment. Delaying treatment due to an incorrect result of being cancer free can allow the disease to spread and further complicate the situation.

A doctor or lab error can lead to medical intervention for a Pennsylvania patient that is invasive, time consuming, expensive and that can sometimes lead to further medical complications. When a patient of a loved one receives the unfortunate diagnosis of cancer, seeking a second opinion is often suggested. When treatment is provided, and the diagnosis found to be incorrect, seeking the guidance of an attorney in pursing a medical malpractice claim may be the next step. A successful claim can provide financial compensation to help cover medical costs incurred.

Source: journalnow.com, "Error rate for cancer test results slim, but can it be devastating for patients", Richard Craver, April 22, 2018

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