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Five diseases commonly misdiagnosed by doctors despite advances

When a person in Pennsylvania is diagnosed with cancer or any other serious illness, time is often of the essence. In order to ensure that the patient lives a long and rewarding life, doctors may need to implement treatments immediately to stop the spread of harmful cancers or other diseases. Failure to diagnose a cancer or heart disease may lead to death in the average individual if the doctor does not stay current on new technology for diagnosis. Even those who trust their physicians implicitly may benefit from getting a second opinion for any serious illness before treatment is started.

A recent study hopes to create a database for diseases that are commonly misdiagnosed throughout the country. Topping the list was infections, followed by neoplasms, then myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), pulmonary emboli (artery blockage) and finally cardiovascular (heart) disease. Data was based on malpractice and autopsy information available to researchers.

It is also believed that over 98,000 people die each year in the country from diseases that are misdiagnosed or missed completely by doctors and other health care professionals. The data presented researchers with evidence that more diagnostic equipment is necessary and compiled data from 31 different reports about the issue.

It may be true that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, or take back the suffering a person endures while being treated for an illness. Medical bills and funeral expenses combined with the loss of an income may make the situation more difficult for the average person, and the hospital or doctor responsible for the misdiagnosis may be asked to pay for these costs for the patient who suffered unwittingly.

Source: Daily Finance, “The 5 most misdiagnosed diseases,” Sean Williams, July 21, 2013

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