How a doctor’s mistake can lead to a later stage of cancer

A cancer diagnosis is devastating to receive, even if the doctor assures you that you have a good prognosis and multiple treatment options available to you. Treatment could range from surgery or radiation to chemotherapy or even a bone marrow transplant. 

There is little question that cancer survival rates and treatment options have drastically improved in recent decades. However, the stage of your cancer will have a major impact on what treatment you can receive and your chances of achieving remission through treatment. 

Your doctor can, unfortunately, play a role in your cancer reaching a later stage than it should have.

Doctors may ignore the early warning signs of cancer

Cancer can be hard to diagnose, which is why doctors need to carefully rule it out before they diagnose someone with a less serious condition. Some of the most aggressive and dangerous forms of cancer initially have symptoms that might seem like an allergic reaction or a common cold. Cough, rashes, sleep issues and reports of low energy all seem like minor concerns if not accompanied by other, more glaring symptoms. 

When doctors don’t follow up on reported symptoms or make assumptions during the diagnostic process, their patients may go from a highly treatable stage one localized cancer to a metastasized stage four cancer with low rates of survival. 

Doctors who fail to diagnose cancer properly limit their patients’ treatment options and negatively affect their chances of survival. Holding a doctor responsible for their diagnostic failures could help you pay for treatment and may protect others from the same unfortunate medical care.