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Why is kidney cancer sometimes misdiagnosed as kidney stones?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

When you feel unlike yourself, you may visit your Missouri doctor with the hope that he or she is going to be able to identify what is ailing you and instruct you on what you need to do to get better. Yet, things do not always work out this way. Making a correct medical diagnosis may prove difficult for many doctors, but when doctors misdiagnose your condition, the repercussions may prove quite serious.

Per Medical News Today, misdiagnosis of cancer is of particular concern, because cancer patients typically have a better prognosis when doctors catch their condition early on. Yet, misdiagnosis of cancer, and in particular, misdiagnosis of kidney cancer, happens more often than you might think. Per one United Kingdom study, almost half of kidney cancer patients surveyed received incorrect medical diagnoses at first.

Why doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer

A common reason many doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones is that the two conditions share similar symptoms. For example, fever, back pain, blood in your urine and fatigue are common symptoms associated with both kidney cancer and kidney stones.

What may happen when doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer

When a doctor misdiagnoses kidney cancer as kidney stones, it raises the chances of the cancer metastasizing, or spreading to other areas of the body. Once cancer spreads, the chances of it becoming deadly increase quite a bit. Effectively treating kidney cancer requires a prompt diagnosis. Studies show that when doctors catch and treat kidney cancer before it spreads, a patient has a 93% chance of living for another five years.

Anytime a doctor diagnoses you with something serious, or you question a doctor’s diagnosis, it is wise to seek a second opinion.

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