Accurate diagnosis of medical conditions is among the most important parts of a doctor's job, but misdiagnoses happen all the time in Florida and nationwide. It's a problem that can affect anyone, but women might be more likely to be misdiagnosed according to some studies. Conditions that doctors and other health professionals could miss when women come in include heart disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia.
For many people in Florida, hand tremors or a shaky, stiff sensation when walking may point to signs of Parkinson's disease, the chronic, progressive neurological condition. Some people may even be diagnosed with Parkinson's on the basis of their symptoms, especially if they visit a family doctor instead of a specialist. However, Parkinson's is misdiagnosed more than some might expect; there are other disorders that can closely resemble the symptoms of Parkinson's, but the suggested treatments are distinctly different.
Getting the right treatment is important for children in Florida who are diagnosed with brain cancer. One type of cancer called CNS-PNET is traditionally diagnosed by the locations of the tumors in the brain and by looking at tumors under a microscope.
Florida residents who suspect that they or a loved one may suffer from Lewy body dementia, or LBD, should be aware that early detection can be a key factor in having successful treatment. People who have LBD tend to respond more favorably to certain types of dementia medications than individuals who have Alzheimer's. This means that receiving treatment during the early stages can help enhance and extend the quality of life for LBD sufferers and their caregivers. The accurate and early diagnosis of LBD is also important because many LBD sufferers tend to have poorer responses to certain types of drugs for movement and behavior than individuals who have Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Many Florida women have breast cancer, and it accounts for roughly 25 percent of all cancer cases around the world. Survival rates are comparatively high, thanks to advances in the detection of breast cancer tumors, but some tumors are more subtle and thus at a higher risk for proving fatal. This is where the European-funded project MAMMA comes in.
Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a study of patients with presumed cellulitis and published the results back in February. Cellulitis patients in Florida should know what the researchers found out because the condition they have is frequently misdiagnosed.
The journal Neurology Genetics published a study called "The Mitochondrial Disease Patient's Diagnostic Odyssey: Results of a Survey" showing how those with mitochondrial disease are forced to visit numerous specialists and undergo multiple tests before they receive a correct diagnosis. Patients in Florida may want to know why this is.
When a patient in Florida faces a medical malpractice situation, there is a good chance that the problems started at the diagnostic level. According to a report published in March 2018 by a malpractice insurance provider, a third of the medical wrongdoing claims brought by patients between 2013 and 2017 were related to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis cases.
Doctors in Florida see many patients with skin inflammation and other symptoms of skin disorders. One skin infection, cellulitis, is common, but there is no reliable tool for diagnosing it. Because its symptoms are similar to those of other skin conditions, many cellulitis diagnoses are false. Now researchers have found that involving a dermatologist in the diagnosis of cellulitis at an early stage can catch misdiagnoses and prevent unnecessary treatment.
Immunotherapy is a developing form of cancer treatment, the purpose of which is to enable the body's immune system to fight off cancer cells on its own. While its side effects are milder than those of chemotherapy, its effectiveness seems to be limited. A small percentage of immunotherapy patients in Florida and across the U.S. even wind up suffering from severe health conditions.