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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Top 3 most misdiagnosed cancers

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Malpractice

Many cancer patients in Pennsylvania are misdiagnosed. It could mean that a cancer diagnosis was delayed or that a cancer patient was diagnosed with a disease that they don’t have. Either way, a misdiagnosis can be dangerous, especially when it is not corrected before cancer reaches a late stage.

Here are three of the most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer:

Colon cancer

A delayed diagnosis of colon cancer can be devastating since the survival rate drops so drastically between stages I and IV. When colon cancer is diagnosed at stage I, patients have a 91% chance of surviving the disease. Stage IV colon cancer, on the other hand, has a survival rate of only 14%.

Breast cancer

There are problems with both delayed diagnoses and overdiagnoses of breast cancer. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 31% of breast cancers that are diagnosed are actually precancerous cells. When a healthy person is diagnosed with breast cancer prematurely, it can lead to harm caused by unnecessary treatments.

At the same time, some people with real cases of breast cancer suffer because of delayed diagnoses. The Susan G. Komen Foundation has reported that mammograms miss around 16% of breast cancers. All of these problems could explain why breast cancer is the most frequent reason for medical malpractice claims, according to the National Association of Science Writers.


Lymphoma is believed to be the most misdiagnosed type of cancer. This cancer of the cells is frequently confused with other conditions due to its nonspecific symptoms. Symptoms like weight loss, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes are also common in many other conditions. Doctors sometimes mistake lymphoma for an infection or the common cold.

Pursuing compensation for a misdiagnosis

If you suffered injuries because of a cancer misdiagnosis, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against your doctor. Families of patients who died because of a delayed cancer diagnosis may also be able to file a claim.