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Cancer misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis and false positives

Many Ohio patients who are told that they have cancer by their health care practitioners are victims of misdiagnosis or overdiagnosis. In other cases, cancer-screening tests show false positive results. When patients are informed that they have cancer when they do not, or when they are treated for a tiny cancer that never would have affected them, the medical mistake can cause them to experience undue stress and undergo rounds of unnecessary and harmful treatments.

A false positive happens when a cancer-screening test, such as a mammogram, reveals something in a patient's body that looks like cancer but is not. Further testing after a false positive result usually leads pathologists to conclude that the patient does not have cancer. On the other hand, a misdiagnosis occurs when a pathologist looks at a test and misreads the information.

Overdiagnosis of cancer is different from misdiagnosis or a false positive because it occurs when a patient actually does have cancer. With patients being screened for cancer more often, more tests are detecting tiny cancers that may have never caused a problem. For example, an elderly patient who is diagnosed with cancer before developing any cancer symptoms may experience more harm from the cancer treatment than they would have experienced from the cancer during their lifetime.

A patient who was harmed by a cancer misdiagnosis or false positive test result may have a case for filing a medical malpractice claim. If people believe that they were given unnecessary cancer treatments after an overdiagnosis, this may also be cause for filing a claim. Those who find themselves in these types of situations may wish to speak with an attorney in order to determine how to recover compensation for the damages that they have incurred.

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