False positives in cancer misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | May 1, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose |

There are few things scarier than a person being told that he or she may have cancer. When a checkup results in additional testing to confirm or refute the diagnosis, the wait for results can be agonizing. When test results confirm the diagnosis, a person’s fight to beat the cancer begins. But what if the test result is a false positive? A cancer misdiagnosis in Oregon can result in a tragic outcome.

In a recent study of 6,000 patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the researchers found an error rate of one in 71 tests. Approximately 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year. Even with an error rate of about one percent, that can mean as many as 14,000 erroneous results. When erroneous test results lead to unnecessary treatment, the outcome can be devastating to the patient.

A misdiagnosed case of breast cancer caused a woman to undergo a lumpectomy. She later opted for the more radical procedure of a double mastectomy. She did not receive radiation therapy. She was informed of the misdiagnosis, but what happened afterwards is not known due to patient privacy laws.

A cancer misdiagnosis can cause emotional trauma and result in unnecessary procedures with often negative outcomes. A person who has experienced this trauma in Oregon may benefit from a confidential conversation with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can assist the person in determining if he or she has a viable claim and the best path to pursue. A successfully litigated claim could provide the family with much needed compensation at a very stressful time.

Source: journalnow.com, “Error rate for cancer test results slim, but can it be devastating for patients“, Richard Craver, April 22, 2018