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Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types – What You Can Do

Watch the video below to learn all you need to know about cancer misdiagnosis for common cancer types.


Learn More:

Cancer Misdiagnosis

Prostate Cancer – Failure to Treat and Failure to Diagnose

Lung Cancer – Failure to Treat and Failure to Diagnose

Breast Cancer – Failure to Treat And Failure to Diagnose


Video Transcript

What about if you have a common cancer, squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, and the diagnosis comes from a given site, maybe from a lymph node and maybe the primary source of the cancer is not traced to the right organ. 

This is critical of as well of course, because if you’re looking at surgical management, you want to address the site of the cancer in attempting to remove the cancer, at least the greatest amount possible of that cancer from the body. So you need to be sure you’re dealing with cancer from the correct organ. By the same token, if treatment like radiation therapy or chemotherapy is needed, you want to be sure that the chemotherapy given is the most appropriate treatment for that cancer’s location within the body. 

So where the cancer originates is important. Organs have different radiation tolerance, certain drugs are effective in one organ for one type of cancer but not for another. So your entire outcome, despite a bad diagnosis with cancer, can be dependent on the fact that the pathology is correct and that the location of the primary cancer is made upfront.

At LawMD, our staff members are trained in both medicine and law. They recognize this and can help you in a difficult circumstance like that to determine if you truly may have been a victim in the face of a bad outcome of medical negligence. That is carelessness, was your diagnosis not correct based on a pathological error that could cost you significant morbidity, a loss of the ability to work, loss of function on your body, whether it’s ambulatory or some sensation issues or issues with how certain organs function. Those again can be costly and devastating to your future and all of this is potentially recoverable by way of civil process or a lawsuit. 

Again, the question would be, has the standard of care been breached, and if it has, is it negligence? If we can help you answer this question, we would love the opportunity to help you here at, thank you.

More Information on common cancer types.

One of the most powerful chameleons in disease is cancer. Many of the most common types of cancer closely mimic other diseases in terms of both their symptoms and effects. It is, therefore, difficult to diagnose abnormal cell growth in any form. However, complicated does not necessarily mean impossible. Generations of medical professionals have created a reliable standard for diagnosing, treating, and monitoring tumors over centuries of clinical experience and research. 

All medical malpractice cases based on this standard’s violations will be dismissed.  We are committed to ensuring that justice is done after any misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of any type of cancer. 

Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types: Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancers 

Each cancer treatment is different. The same goes for malignancies that are difficult to diagnose. This means our trusted health professionals need to be more vigilant. These diseases require more rigorous care, which can lead to misdiagnosis and even death. We have highlighted the most common misdiagnosed types of cancer. 

  1. Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types: Breast Cancer 

The most common form is breast cancer. It is a type of carcinoma that develops in the milk-carrying glands. The National Cancer Institute estimates that breast cancer is diagnosed in approximately 230,000 women annually and 2,300 men each year. 

Breast biopsies can be fraught with errors. Pathologists may miss cancerous cells in tissue samples or misdiagnose malignancies. An unprecedented group of researchers from Stanford and Dartmouth tested the accuracy of pathologists in 2015 by having them re-diagnose breast tissue they had previously studied. 48% of pre-cancer warning signs or early tumors were missed, while 13% of benign tissue samples were found to be a malignancy. 

These errors would have resulted in unchecked metastasis, unneeded mastectomies, and courses of radiation or chemo. 

  1. Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types: Lymphoma 

Lymphatic cancers often mimic other conditions, and patients report feeling symptoms such as swelling of lymph nodes or chest rashes that were initially thought to be allergies. 

Some benign pathologies look similar to lymphoma, which can confuse the issue. A team of pathologists discovered a non-cancerous condition that looked exactly like aggressive lymphoma in the intestines. Six patients had begun chemotherapy treatment before the mistake was made. 

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as “young people’s disease”, is a condition that affects people aged between 20 and 34. Many doctors continue to treat patients older than they should, assuming that cancers are more common as we age. 

  1. Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types: Lung Cancer 

Radiologists have to be able to correctly identify lung cancers. This is one of the most challenging tasks they can undertake. Many fungal and bacterial infections can look very similar to malignant tumors in an X-ray. This can lead to misdiagnosis of lung cancer in patients who are already diagnosed with cancer. 

Lyme disease presents its own unique problems. The New England Center for Investigative Journalism discovered the stories of three Lyme disease patients in 2013. A man who was wrongly treated for seven years until a doctor discovered that his symptoms were caused by lung cancer, was given inappropriate treatment for seven months. One patient was prescribed antibiotics for three consecutive years until radiologists discovered a pituitary tumor that was too large to be removed. 

  1. Ovarian Cancer 

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition conducted a national survey and found that more than two-thirds of the 250 patients were misdiagnosed. 

Many people dismiss the primary symptoms of ovarian carcinoma, such as abdominal pain and bloating as signs of irritable stool syndrome or a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. Many doctors will tell patients that the problem is mental and chalk it up to stress. Many women find out months later that they have limited options after ovarian cancer. 

  1. Cervical Cancer 

The best way to identify abnormal cell growth and prevent cervical cancer is with pap smears. Hundreds of thousands have been saved since the introduction of the test in 1943. 

Unlike other tissue samples, pap tests are usually analyzed first by cytotechnologists. If the initial investigator finds abnormal cells, the samples are sent to a pathologist. Reports suggest that as high as 40% of Pap test results are false negatives. Analysts fail to see the signs even though the samples may indicate abnormal cell growth. 

  1. Uterine Cancer 

The endometrium is the layer of cells that lines the interior cavity of the uterus, where most cancers of the uterus begin. These common carcinomas, according to many experts, can be mistaken for rare and aggressive sarcomas, as the Journal of Clinical Pathology has noted. 

Both types of malignancy are found in the uterus. However, they require very different treatment. While sarcomas can be treated surgically, carcinomas may infiltrate the surrounding tissues. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to more pain than the actual disease. 

  1. Skin Cancer and Melanoma 

Skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma or melanoma are the most common form. They are often misdiagnosed. However, not all skin cancer patients receive the correct diagnosis. Common signs and anomalous lesions are often overlooked by primary care physicians, which allows cancer to spread unchecked. 

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery surveyed 271 dermatological surgeons and found that 90% of them were treating malignancies not diagnosed by a general practitioner. 

Although skin cancer is the most curable form of cancer, it can be diagnosed early and treated promptly. However, malignant skin tumors can spread to other parts of the body. 

  1. Pancreatic Cancer 

Pancreatic cancer is often not visible in its early stages and can be difficult to diagnose. The malignancy eventually causes severe symptoms and can lead to death. However, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for many other conditions such as gallbladder disease. The resemblance between cancer-related conditions and cancer can lead to misdiagnosis. Patients with gallbladder disease may be mistakenly diagnosed as pancreatic cancer and are subject to a series of unnecessary tests. 

These difficulties are evident in scientific research. In 2015, Douglas Swords MD reviewed 313 patients who were ultimately diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma. Nearly one-third of the patients were misdiagnosed at first, with most cases being gallbladder disease. Nearly 40% of misdiagnosed patients had gallbladders removed unnecessarily. 

  1. Liver Cancer 

Most liver cancer cases present symptoms only after the disease has spread. Symptoms can also be vague and may be linked to other conditions. Many pathologists become “over-vigilant” and miss malignancies that are not there. A researcher from the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine found that 23% of liver cancer patients don’t have any cancer after reviewing 50 years of autopsy data. Many people may have hemangioma (a benign liver condition). 

It is possible to develop liver cancer. Many cancers that originate in other tissues eventually reach the liver. Patients may have to undergo debilitating treatments that are of little or no benefit if the true source of the malignancy is not identified. 

  1. Prostate Cancer 

Cambridge University scientists discovered that half of men with prostate cancer could actually be free from the disease in 2014. Although this is a shocking statistic, doctors often overlook the true trauma that a cancer diagnosis can cause. Patients can suffer from long-term cancer treatments and impotence, which can cause untold harm to their overall health. It can be as difficult as being told that you don’t have cancer. 

Pathologists might have been too diligent in finding abnormal cells, as 80% of patients will develop the disease by age 80. 

  1. Bladder Cancer 

Bladder cancer can often be mistaken for a UTI (urinary tract infection). Both malignancies, as well as UTIs, can cause blood in the urine. Some cases of bladder cancer may be overlooked, and the symptoms of some patients will be attributed to an innocuous UTI. Patients who do not respond to antibiotics need to be reevaluated and checked for other possible diagnoses. 

Bladder cancers are more serious than any other type of cancer and require extra care. These diseases have a high recurrence and are among the most costly to treat. Many patients find themselves in bankruptcy while fighting for their lives. 

  1. Thyroid Cancer 

Numerous studies suggest that thyroid cancer diagnosis rates are increasing worldwide. One reason for this increase is: Overdiagnosis of the disease may be one reason. The New York Times reported that the “thyroid cancer rate in the United States has more than doubled” since 1994. But, this increased “detection”, hasn’t resulted in the decline in survival rates you would expect. The only logical conclusion is that the tumors being detected are not cancerous and most often, are completely harmless. 

Many patients are still receiving hormones, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and other treatments that they don’t require. 

  1. Colon Cancer 

Colon cancer can be treated if caught early. Although misdiagnoses are rare, reports show that doctors often dismiss the symptoms of colon cancer as anything from benign polyps or hemorrhoids to depression. Although these are rare, they can be very costly. With the survival rate for patients in late-stage cancers being so low, extreme watchfulness is not only desirable but essential. 

  1. Leukemia 

Leukemia is a common form of blood cancer in both children and adults. It can be mistaken for hemophilia or the flu. Although misdiagnosis can be rare, it is possible to have devastating consequences if the diagnosis is wrong. Many patients were misdiagnosed by multiple specialists and received incorrect results every time. 

There are many types of cancer, and it is possible to misdiagnose them.