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doctor telling a patient about cancer diagnosis

How Often Does Cancer Misdiagnosis Occur?

Cancer affects millions of people every year.

In fact, approximately 1,806,590 new cases of cancer occurred in 2020 in the United States alone. Sadly, the number of cancer cases is only expected to rise, leading to an estimated 29.5 million cases worldwide in 2040.

On top of these numbers is another statistic: individuals who experience cancer misdiagnosis.

What is Cancer Misdiagnosis?

Cancer misdiagnosis occurs when a patient is incorrectly diagnosed with cancer, OR, they fail to receive a timely diagnosis from their doctor. Both types of misdiagnosis can inflict terrible harm on the patient and their family.

The most common types of cancer to be misdiagnosed are:

  • Lymphoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Sarcomas
  • Melanomas

Cancer Misdiagnosis Statistics

A study over the years by Best Doctors and the National Coalition on Health Care found that 60% of the doctors surveyed believed misdiagnosis exists in anywhere from zero to 10 percent of all cases. However, a study by the BMJ Quality and Safety journal shows that 28% of cases involve misdiagnosis, leading to approximately 40,000 patient deaths.

In the study, there was a poll asking doctors why they believe misdiagnosis happens. Here’s what they said:

  • 38.5% of doctors feel missing information in the system leads to misdiagnosis
  • 22% of doctors feel that there are inadequate pathology diagnostic resources
  • 20.3% of doctors feel that there is inadequate genetic information available

Can Cancer Misdiagnosis Be Prevented?

Cancer misdiagnosis is one of the most concerning forms of medical malpractice. Time consumption is one cause of misdiagnosis, but doctors must take the time and precautions to ensure they’re diagnosing cancer accurately.

Some of the things that doctors can do to stop misdiagnosis include:

  • Advanced condition training
  • Clear communication
  • Adequate testing

Contact a Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney in Baltimore

At Brown & Barron, we know that there’s no excuse for misdiagnosing cancer. Doctors must get it right to treat the condition. When doctors make mistakes, cancer patients don’t receive chemotherapy, radiation, or other necessary procedures.

Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers stand by you when you need us most. We’ll put together your case and determine if a doctor was negligent. Let us give you the voice you need to pursue justice.

For a free consultation, contact our firm at (410) 698-1717.

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