Common misdiagnosed diseases include cancers and Parkinson’s
People visiting their doctors in Harlow, Essex, may be interested to know about the illnesses that are most commonly misdiagnosed by medical staff. Included in the six most commonly missed illnesses are some common cancers as well as diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. One reason given for the frequency of misdiagnosing illnesses is the difficulties GPs face when a set of symptoms could be more commonly attributed to a different condition.
A spokesperson for the Royal College of General Practitioners said that the trust patients had for their doctor can be damaged by listing conditions that could be frequently misdiagnosed and pointed out that GPs were forced to make their judgement from information given during a 10-minute appointment slot with the patient. Under the circumstances, the spokesperson said it was a logical decision for a GP to diagnose the most common disease that matched a set of symptoms.
For this reason, even a common cancer such as lung cancer could be dismissed as pneumonia. A 2011 study found that 25 per cent of cancer patients were only diagnosed after the disease had spread. Other commonly misdiagnosed illnesses are Parkinson’s, celiac disease, lupus, hypothyroidism and multiple sclerosis. The symptoms of all of these can be attributed to other more common and less serious ailments, and even after testing, the results can be inconclusive or open to interpretation.
The misdiagnosis of a serious illness can have life-threatening implications for a patient, and legal actions help to ensure medical personnel raise their standards of care by holding them to account for their actions. A solicitor experienced in medical malpractice cases may be able to provide the necessary legal assistance to an individual who has suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis.