Years ago, stomach cancer was the leading cause of death in the United States. It has fortunately found its way towards the tail end of the common cancer list in this country. But even then, it is still responsible for taking the lives of many people every year. That number increases even more if you include those who receive a stomach cancer misdiagnosis.
Over 26,000 people will be diagnosed with stomach cancer this year. And more than 11,000 people will die from stomach cancer in the US this year
Catching stomach cancer in its early stage is important. If it is contained and does not spread, the 5-year survival rate is 70%. If it spreads however, that percentage is by more than half. A misdiagnosis is a big culprit in allowing the disease to progress without treatment.
On the flip side, being told you have stomach cancer, when it is a different issue altogether is also dangerous. You may receive unnecessary cancer treatment all while allowing a different illness progress.
If you were the recipient of a stomach cancer misdiagnosis, you’re likely living with injuries that were preventable. Know that you have options. And compensation may be one of them. Contact the office of Hampton & King to find out more information.
What Is Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in the stomach. If it isn’t caught early on, stomach cancer can become life threatening. It can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes.
That is why a misdiagnosis can be so dangerous.
Common risk factors for stomach cancer include:
- Excessive consumption of salty foods
- H. Pylori infection
- Geographic location (this disease is more common in East Asia)
- Previous stomach surgery including gastric bypass
How A Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis Comes Into Existence
A misdiagnosis of any disease can lead to severe complications. When you’re dealing with cancer, the outlook can become devastating fast.
Stomach cancer, like other cancers, exists because of abnormal cell growth. If doctors identify the disease in its early stages, a patient’s chance of survival is pretty good. It makes sense. A patient receives treatment to kill the cells that are contained in one location. But if stomach cancer progresses to other areas of the body, it becomes more difficult to get rid of those cells.
So why are patients given a stomach cancer misdiagnosis? What is it that a doctor doesn’t see?
Stomach cancer shares many symptoms with other illnesses and conditions. Because of this, it can be difficult to detect the disease. Here are some symptoms stomach cancer shares with other illnesses:
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling in the abdomen
Although many symptoms overlap other conditions, it is a doctor’s responsibility to find the root cause.
Inadequate Patient History
A patient’s medical history plays an important role in a proper diagnosis. A thorough medical history can give a doctor insight into which conditions their patient is more susceptible to. Lack thereof can lead to a cancer misdiagnosis.
Incorrect Tests And Screenings
A thorough physical examination can help determine which test is needed to diagnose (or rule out) stomach cancer. Biopsies, endoscopies, imaging tests, and CT scans are common tests that may help avoid a misdiagnosis.
Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis & Other Diseases
There’s a lot that can happen between your initial doctor’s appointment and finding out you received a stomach cancer misdiagnosis. This can include taking medication for the wrong condition. A stomach cancer misdiagnosis means you’ve either been wrongly diagnosed with one of the following conditions. Or you have one of the following conditions but wrongly diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A common condition that affects the GI tract. It can cause abnormal bowel movements and often severe abdominal pain.
Bloating, gas, nausea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and constipation are common symptoms of this chronic digestive condition.
This chronic inflammatory condition shares many of the same symptoms as stomach cancer. These include loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Life After A Stomach Cancer Misdiagnosis – Find Justice
A stomach cancer misdiagnosis can lead to longer, more painful and more costly treatment. It can also result in absolutely unnecessary treatment. If a misdiagnosis has caused you further injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Hampton & King can help you navigate your malpractice case. Call us today.