As a patient, you never want to think about a medical misdiagnosis. Instead, you hope that your doctor and his or her staff is on top of things at all times.
Unfortunately, it's not unheard of for a medical misdiagnosis to occur. Even if you're on the ball, things can slip through the cracks that lead to a mistake that can have a negative impact on your health.
Here are three of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions:
- Cancer: It's important for any type of cancer to be diagnosed as quickly as possible, as this greatly improves the person's chance of beating the disease. Some forms of cancer are misdiagnosed more often than others, including breast, lung and colorectal. If your doctor neglects to run the necessary tests to rule out this disease, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion.
- Heart attack: A heart attack has the potential to kill you, so a fast diagnosis is critical. Due to the fact that a heart attack often shares symptoms with other medical conditions, such as indigestion, a doctor may overlook the seriousness of your condition.
- Stroke: A condition that is just as serious as cancer or a heart attack, a stroke can change your life forever. Common symptoms include poor coordination, confusion and weakness. Since some forms of stroke come on slowly, it's possible for a doctor to misdiagnose the condition.
At this point, you may have some fears about receiving the medical treatment you deserve. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent a misdiagnosis:
- Keep track of all your symptoms, including the severity and when they occur
- Share every bit of information you have with your medical team
- Don't wait to follow up on abnormal test results
- Learn more about the medication you're taking, such as how long it will take to lessen or eliminate your symptoms
- Don't hesitate to get a second opinion, as it's better to be safe than sorry
In an overall sense, you know your body better than your doctor. So, if you think something is wrong, you shouldn't hesitate to take the appropriate action.
In the event of a medical misdiagnosis, turn your immediate attention to finding a new doctor who can help you implement the right treatment strategy. From there, turn your attention to what went wrong and how to best hold the negligent party responsible.