Going to the doctor for a checkup for something as simple as common colds or fever seems troubling enough. With the long lines, impatient patients, and jaw-dropping bills for medicines, one cannot help but scratch their heads whenever medical checkup is mentioned. What more so when it comes to a serious and rare medical condition that ends up being diagnosed as something else?
Some people’s lives are turned completely upside-down by these events, and if you’ve watched the Saw Franchise, you’ll probably get a hint.
But realistically speaking, diagnostic errors are extremely common and probably one of the most expensive mistakes in clinical history. Statistics show that 50% of diagnostic errors cause permanent damage on patients whilst the other half resulted to death.
Here are some common and rare diseases that are usually misdiagnosed:
Although it seems really common, the fact that its symptoms vary on every person makes diagnosis a bit more difficult and complicated. It can also be noted that older and younger people don’t have the same symptoms, for example, younger people feel the heavy weight on their chest while older people don’t. Women in particular are also vulnerable to a wrong diagnosis because they usually don’t experience the common symptom is chest pain.
Sometimes even mistaken as a heart attack, stroke symptoms are also sometimes overlooked by doctors as migraines or vertigo. Thus, this causes severe complications in the future that could’ve been prevented early on if assessed properly. Remember, symptoms such as vision problems, trouble concentrating and walking, severe headache or migraine, and numbness of the face are the most common symptoms of stroke in every gender and age.
Being one of the most vast and destructive diseases to ever be discovered by humans, it is understandable how one type of cancer can be confused with another or mistaken for another disease altogether. Statistics show that breast cancer, melanoma, and lymphoma are the cancer conditions that are usually misdiagnosed due to lack of information or incomplete patient medical records.
Thyroid conditions such as goiter and hyperthyroidism are usually caused by the imbalance and abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, and muscle pain which are so common and can easily be mistaken for another illness.
A chronic disease most common in middle-aged women that causes joint pain, anxiety, fatigue, and even insomnia, fibromyalgia is often associated and mistaken as arthritis or lupus.
These are just some of the diseases that are usually misdiagnosed, especially with rare diseases wherein doctors themselves don’t have enough information on the said condition. Chances of misdiagnoses are extremely high and statistics can prove it. Most physicians offer common diagnosis before looking at new symptoms that may be part of a whole different disease. And there is also a high risk of patients being treated by doctors with limited knowledge on said disease.
This further puts an emphasis on the necessity of proper information amongst doctors and patients. Access to more information is the key to avoiding more diagnostic errors.