People in Boston who make sure they go to the doctor whenever they’re feeling slightly under the weather or simply to have a check-up are conscientious and vigilant about their health. In most instances, there’s nothing to worry about. There are times, however, when a person goes to the doctor and a negligent physician misses a signal that something is amiss. In a way, a missed diagnosis can be viewed as worse than the actual disease because of the lapsed opportunity to do something about it in its early stages.

A study has shown that as many as 12 million Americans are subject to misdiagnosis each year. Results indicated that at least 5 percent of outpatients don’t get the proper information when they visit their doctor and therefore delay treatment for problems that could grow serious if not addressed. This coincides with other studies that show as many as 160,000 people are harmed on an annual basis because of medical mistakes.

Many forms of cancer can be effectively treated if they are caught in their early stages. Melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer are some of the most common forms of the disease and these respond well to early detection and treatment. A failure to diagnose cancer or any other disease can cost a person his or her life. In some instances, doctors miss the symptoms shown by a patient. This can lead to serious ramifications and even death. Those who believe they were misdiagnosed or had a loved one die because of a medical mistake should be aware of their rights to recover compensation for the error.

One of the worst feelings a person can have happens when they find out that they are ill and something could have been done to treat the illness at an earlier time. When the spread of disease is believed to be a result of a failure to diagnose cancer or other illnesses, it is wise for the victim to gather information about their possible options.

Source: Forbes, “12 Million Americans Misdiagnosed Every Year, New Study Shows,” Melanie Haiken, April 22, 2014