You may know that a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis could result in serious injuries or deaths, but did you know that there are some situations in which those delays are a result of a cancer being particularly difficult to identify? That doesn’t excuse doctors who don’t go further to find a diagnosis for your symptoms or who make errors. In fact, when working with unusual symptoms and difficult diagnoses, medical providers should be seeking further support and consultations with other specialists.
There are several cancers found in men that are hard to identify. Those include:
- Lung cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Why are they so hard to identify?
Lung cancer is tough to diagnose in its early stages. This is because cancer of the lungs tends to mimic many other illnesses. Only around 16% of lung cancer cases are identified in the early stages, so this kind of cancer has become a leading cause of cancer-related death in men.
It’s hard to identify for a few reasons, but one is because nonsmokers are often not examined as carefully as smokers. Speak with a medical provider if you’re dealing with shortness of breath, a cough or weight loss.
Colorectal cancer is also difficult to identify. The symptoms are nonspecific, but changes in bowel habits may be a sign. Scheduling a colonoscopy can help find this kind of cancer, so get one sooner rather than later.
Finally, there is the often-deadly pancreatic cancer. There is no specific way to screen for pancreatic cancer, and people don’t usually show symptoms until it’s too late to cure it. Speak with your medical provider if you have unusual weight loss, a poor appetite, blood clots or other signs that something isn’t right.
Not every misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis will be malpractice, but if your medical provider didn’t take steps to test for these conditions after you presented with symptoms, then you may have a case. It’s important to go through cancer screenings and to get the appropriate tests done any time you have symptoms that aren’t resolving on their own.