Mesothelioma is one of the hardest types of cancers to diagnose. It is crucial that a proper diagnosis is given to a patient, so they can receive the best treatment available.
Were You Misdiagnosed?
Because mesothelioma is such a rare disease you will find that there are a lot of doctors who misdiagnose it. Measures of detection are in the process of catching up with other cancers and diseases, in relation to the accuracy of making a diagnosis.
Understanding the Difficulties of Detection
It is very important to understand that this disease is misdiagnosed because doctors don’t often see patients suffering from mesothelioma. Add in the fact that this disease also shares so many symptoms with other illnesses, and you have a situation where a misdiagnosis can occur.
Get a Second Opinion
If you really want to get the very best treatment then you must be diagnosed properly. Therefore, you will always want to receive a second opinion to help identify the cancer and what treatment options really are the best for you.
Misdiagnosis is Common
Even though you can use image testing to identify this type of cancer, it is not always accurate. The best way to identify this cancer is through a biopsy of the tissue.
Often times the patient is going to go to the doctor and report that they are having chest pain. When it comes to this type of cancer the pain will often be related to the fact that there is fluid building up in the chest or abdomen. While this can show up on imaging tests, you should know that your doctor may actually diagnose you with something else if you are having mild symptoms.
Symptoms may include shortness of breath and also pain in the chest when it comes to pleural mesothelioma. These can also be symptoms related to pneumonia. Peritoneal mesothelioma will have symptoms similar to other common illnesses as well.
Cancer Misdiagnoses that are Common
Mesothelioma can be misdiagnosed as other illnesses but it can also be misdiagnosed as other types of cancer. Pleural mesothelioma can be diagnosed as lung cancer. Peritoneal diagnoses can be diagnosed as ovarian cancer.
Trouble With Scans – Even though X-rays and CT scans can be used to identify cancer, and a tumor, it will not give you specific information. It will be very important to complete a biopsy to really have a full picture of the cancer and what is going on.
Pathologist Make Mistakes – It is possible for pathologist to make mistakes because the cancer can look very similar to other types of cancer. This is also rare and the pathologist may not really recognize it when they see it.
Unreliable Fluid – It can be very difficult to see the cells when they are in the fluid. This is true even if it is looked at under a microscope. A tissue biopsy is often best the best chance at making a correct diagnosis.
Misdiagnosing the Stage
Mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as a different illness or sickness, there’s also the chance that it may be misdiagnosed as to what stage the cancer is in. Some patients that are initially diagnosed with a later stage of mesothelioma may discover that the disease isn’t as advanced as they were first told, and vice versa with respect to those being told that the disease is in an earlier stage.
Misdiagnosis of mesothelioma is related to what stage it is happening because every patient is different. Doctors just don’t understand this disease and don’t come into contact with mesothelioma enough. Even though there are symptoms for each stage, not all patients are going to have the same symptoms at each stage. Everyone is different and their symptoms could be as well.
A staging system that is uniform and general for this cancer has not been developed yet. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with cancer that is thought to be in the final stage you need to get a second diagnosis. This is necessary to ensure that it is accurate and that you are also getting the very best treatment.
Misdiagnosis and Treatment Options
The longer you go without a proper diagnosis the more difficult it will be for you to get accurate treatment. You want to know that you are getting the best treatment as soon as possible. So, knowing what stage you are in will be very important. Curative surgeries and chemotherapy will be dependent upon the stage that your cancer is in.
Even when your real diagnosis is worse than the misdiagnosis you received, it is possible to extend your life and make you comfortable. Treatments that can make you comfortable, and take away your pain, can help improve your life expectancy.
There may be times when a misdiagnosis is actually a blessing in disguise. There have been cases where the misdiagnosis is much worse that the actual diagnosis.
One example of this is Jodi Page, she was misdiagnosed up until she saw a mesothelioma specialist and received a proper diagnosis. She continually saw her regular doctor to be treated for pneumonia. She was later diagnosed with advanced stage mesothelioma but became a candidate for radical curative treatment. Jodi is now a survivor of pleural mesothelioma.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, take the time to seek out a second opinion from a doctor who specializes in Mesothelioma. This could ultimately lead you to the best treatment options and might just save your life.