If a doctor misdiagnoses an allergic condition as a common cold, it probably will not result in serious complications. In most cases, the patient will recover from the symptoms regardless of the diagnosis. However, some conditions will worsen without the correct diagnosis followed by immediate treatment. Ovarian cancer is such a condition and it can be fatal without proper treatment.
Our Massachusetts attorneys understand that no medical professional is infallible and that we all make mistakes from time to time, but we do not believe misdiagnosis of cancer should ever be ignored. Failure to diagnose ovarian cancer happens in many cases because the illness mimics so many other conditions. Its symptoms are minor at first and may include bloating, constipation, nausea, pelvic pressure and vaginal bleeding. Other conditions with similar symptoms include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peritoneal disease
- Chronic ectopic pregnancy
- Benign pancreatic or ovarian cyst
Because failure to diagnose cancer can be catastrophic, doctors have a duty to search for any illness that may cause the symptoms a patient experiences. For example, say a doctor suspects the patient has a urinary tract infection and prescribes a round of antibiotics. If the patient’s symptoms persist, the doctor should immediately perform additional diagnostics.
A prompt, accurate diagnosis can improve the length and quality of a cancer patient’s life. More importantly, it can save the patient’s life because when detected early, ovarian cancer is treatable and offers a good prognosis.
We urge you to learn more about failure to diagnose if you have suffered or lost someone to misdiagnosis. You can find in-depth information regarding the consequences of missed or delayed diagnosis on our website. We routinely publish content detailing the different legal options you can pursue if failure to diagnose has changed your life for the worse.