It is safe to assume that everyone knows what cancer is and that it can be fatal. Most people also know that cancer manifests as a mass or a tumor located somewhere within the body.
It is wise to be proactive about a lump or mass on the body, but you should understand that other conditions also cause masses. Some of these conditions can be mistaken for cancer, even by trained medical providers.
Modern cancer screenings are not foolproof
Despite an abundance of diagnostic technology, even advanced tests and screenings can falsely indicate the presence of cancer. Mammograms, for instance, return false positives in about 50% of female patients, according to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization.
Noncancerous conditions that can look like tumors:
- Paget’s Disease
- Idiopathic myositis ossificans
- Baker’s cyst
- Infections and abscesses
- Metabolic conditions
- Vascular aneurysm
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Mistaking these health issues for cancer harms patients in several ways. Two examples include:
- They do not get the treatment they need
- They may undergo procedures (radiation, chemo, etc.) that are unnecessary and potentially dangerous
Doctors should always perform further screening after making an initial diagnosis. More tests can confirm if a mass is a cancerous tumor, a separate illness requiring prompt attention or a completely benign condition.
The failure to diagnose any condition accurately is a form of medical malpractice. Patients harmed by the actions or inactions of medical professionals have the right to seek a satisfactory legal remedy. If you suspect negligence worsened your condition or caused a separate injury, consider improving your knowledge of the medical malpractice laws in Ohio. The financial compensation you might obtain can help you get the healthcare needed for your true medical condition.