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One common way that doctors miss cancer

While cancer awareness campaigns do a lot of good, the reality is that the general public is already fairly well aware of the danger cancer poses. It's one of the leading killers in the United States, and it has many forms: skin cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer. Most people know someone who has the disease or they have lost a friend or family member to it.

Even so, doctors still miss cancer all the time. Wouldn't you think that something this common and this serious would never go unnoticed?

What you should know is that it's often not an issue of the cancer going unnoticed. They notice the symptoms, and so does the patient. They just miss the diagnosis because they think it's something else entirely.

One woman's story

For instance, one woman did not know that she had ovarian cancer, but she knew something was wrong. She identified the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Satiety
  • Bloating
  • Constipation

She even went to her doctor to get checked out when she started to notice these issues. Her doctor told her to eat applesauce and prune juice on a daily basis, along with wheat bran. It seemed simple enough and one has to imagine she was very happy to only need to make those small changes.

A year after that, however, she went in for a CT scan. That's when they finally found the cancer. By that point, unfortunately, it was already in an advanced stage. She could never cure it, though she could treat it. She'd have to live with it, and she was furious.

The problem is that those symptoms often look like other things. Maybe you have constipation because you're not eating properly, and that's why you feel bloated all the time. Maybe you're dealing with fatigue simply because you're getting older. Maybe you have something like irritable bowel syndrome. Maybe it's just menopause. Maybe it's indigestion.

Medical science is not perfect. The symptoms could indicate all of these more minor issues. But they could also indicate cancer. Doctors often miss it because they simply believe it's something else. It's not that they don't think anything is wrong.

However, there are also cases where doctors judge the patient. Is the person overreacting to a minor issue? Are they just whining about something that isn't serious? Are they just lazy, do they have terrible eating habits or do they drink too much? Doctors try to read between the lines, and sometimes they miss the mark.

Your rights

Of course, a missed diagnosis can turn serious and even deadly because cancer continues spreading and growing when left untreated. It's then that you need to know all of your rights to seek compensation.

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