Cancers, heart attack, stroke top misdiagnosis list. Here’s what patients can do.
Colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer are the three most frequently missed diagnoses in outpatient clinics and academic medical centers, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open found. Heart attack and prostate cancer round out the top five.
10 Most Common Missed or Delayed Diagnoses by Medical Condition
3 Thing that you can do to help prevent a misdiagnosis
1. Prepare for appointments.
Before your appointment, take some time to think through your symptoms and concerns. Write them down and bring these notes with you to the doctor. “
Here is a Worksheet for your next Doctors visit.
2. Ask questions.
It’s important to ask probing questions about the diagnosis you’re given and why other conditions were ruled out. You are not questioning the Doctor but asking questions.
For example, if bad headaches bring you in and your doctor diagnoses you with cluster headaches, ask why that’s the case and why it’s not a migraine.
3. Follow up.
Keep track of your progress after a treatment plan is prescribed, and stay in touch with your doctor if things don’t get better. If symptoms persist, it’s common for a patient to assume that the treatment is to blame, not the diagnosis,
To get a second look, call the doctor and say, “I’m not getting better. Are we sure that I’ve got the right diagnosis?”
A few other tips: Keep an accurate list of your medications, and bring this with you to all of your appointments. Also, keep your own records of test results, referrals and hospital admissions.
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