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Cancer misdiagnosis leads to tragedy

For many Americans, receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering experience that takes patients and loved ones on an emotional rollercoaster. If treatment is an option for Missouri men and women, it is usually chosen immediately to curb the growth and increase chances of survival. In the event of misdiagnosis, however, a different course of action and treatment may be necessary, although it may be too late.

Recently, a deputy for a County Sheriff was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor known as advanced melanoma. He began chemotherapy immediately to combat the tumor growth. As he became progressively weaker due to the treatment, there was still no sign of relent on the part of the cancer.

Doctors recommended a clinical trial and the man enrolled in an attempt to explore more options to fight the cancer. Instead, the trials revealed that the man had been misdiagnosed; he had a different type of cancer that required a different set of treatment. The 34-year-old quickly began treatment for sarcoma, but he lost the battle and died before the new treatment could take effect.

According to a neurologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the error for cancer diagnoses ranges between two and five percent. Misdiagnosis can occur for a number of reasons in a medical center including a lack of time, attention, faulty information gathering and processing. In the face of a cancer diagnosis, it is recommended to spend time with the doctor discussing the biopsy report and the accuracy of the diagnosis. Missouri patients and loved ones that receive a misdiagnosis followed by tragic results, compensation may be obtained for the hardships suffered due to the failure of diagnosis.

Source:, Medical misdiagnoses common yet ignored, Jodie Tillman, Nov. 17, 2013

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