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Misdiagnosed cancer in younger patients is on the rise

Pennsylvanians suffering from unrelenting symptoms may want to seek additional medical advice to ensure their symptoms are not misdiagnosed. In particular, younger patients should be aware of the dangers of misdiagnosed cancer. Doctors often only expect to find certain cancers, like colorectal cancer, in patients over 50.

However, rates of colorectal cancer in patients under 50 have been on the rise. For some younger patients, because doctors do not expect them to have certain cancers, their age has resulted in it taking longer periods of time for doctors to correctly diagnose their symptoms.

One woman claims she experienced symptoms that were misdiagnosed for eight years before she was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer at age 26. Now 51, she is cancer-free. She believes that if a patient shows symptoms for a particular cancer, they should be checked regardless of their age. Another woman had several misdiagnoses before she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 43. Her illness prevented her from continuing her medical career and she states, "I felt robbed. I felt like it was unfair."

Both of these women dealt with many negative effects of their misdiagnosed cancers. Any cancer diagnosis results in extensive stress and expense; however, misdiagnosed cancer extends the stress and increases the costs.

Early screenings for cancers can help patients recover sooner and prevent misdiagnoses from occurring. For Pennsylvania patients who have already experienced a misdiagnosis of cancer, consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney would likely be beneficial. With their help, patients may be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and any other expenses that may occur in the future due to their misdiagnosis.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "More younger people getting colorectal cancer," Andrea K. Walker, July 29, 2012

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