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Failure to diagnose is more common with certain diseases

When going to the doctor or a hospital with an ailment, most people assume that the doctors will be able to diagnose the issue at hand. However, for many Massachusetts patients, issues with failure to diagnose can lead to unidentified risks to health and well-being. Although this is not the patient's fault, having some information about commonly-missed illnesses is a good idea when discussing a tricky diagnosis with a doctor.

It is particularly concerning when illnesses that are life-threatening are not caught, especially illnesses such as cancers that may be more treatable at earlier stages. Early-stage ovarian cancer, for example, is often mistaken for digestive issues like IBS or a bad diet. Those who have a family history of cancer should communicate this background to doctors, as it may put this diagnosis higher on their lists.

Another dangerously underdiagnosed disease is lupus. The reason there is often a failure to diagnose lupus is that although there are many symptoms for the disease, they rarely show up at the same time. To make matters worse, blood tests do not always identify this disease. 

There are many other conditions that are commonly missed by doctors, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism and hepatitis C. Often, the missed diagnosis is simply due to not having enough symptoms or lacking the current medical technology to identify the issue. Occasionally, however, a doctor's neglect is to blame. Those who have been in a situation where failure to diagnose caused a serious negative outcome in their lives can speak to a lawyer to find out if they have a viable medical malpractice claim under Massachusetts law.

Source: Reader's Digest, "Under-Diagnosed Diseases Doctors Might Miss", Marissa Laliberte and Neena Samuel Thankfully, May 3, 2018

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