Cancer can be extremely difficult to diagnose, as it often shares many symptoms with other diseases. Still, because early detection is critical in any patient’s prognosis, your physician should work diligently to find the true cause of your symptoms.
Like everyone, doctors occasionally make mistakes. If your doctor misdiagnosis your cancer, though, you may not receive the treatment you need to recover completely. Here are three commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer.
1. Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer attacks the lower intestines, colon or rectum. If you have this type of cancer, you may have loose or bloody stools, constipation or intestinal discomfort. Because these symptoms are also common with ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, your doctor may miss your cancer diagnosis.
2. Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, an organ that aids in digestion and regulates blood glucose. Individuals with pancreatic cancer often exhibit signs of diabetes. In fact, diabetes may be a precursor to pancreatic cancer. Still, if your physician only treats you for diabetes and not pancreatic cancer, you may not receive the immediate medical care you need.
3. Breast cancer
Breast cancer causes tumors to form in breast tissue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends women receive regular mammograms after they turn 40. During your mammogram, a doctor may misdiagnose cancer as a benign cyst, inflammation or fibrocystic breast disease.
If your physician’s diagnosis is not correct, your breast cancer may continue to develop or metastasize. Accordingly, if you think your doctor has missed a critical cancer diagnosis, you probably want to seek a second opinion as quickly as possible.