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Making sense of your own symptoms can be difficult. The same basic symptoms are present in both a summer cold and the early stages of some kinds of cancer. You can’t usually get treatment or medication until a doctor reviews your symptoms, performs tests and diagnoses you.

Unfortunately, if a doctor fails to diagnose you or diagnoses you with the wrong condition, then you won’t get the treatment that you need. Failure to diagnose is a serious issue with any condition, but with certain forms of cancer, it could be the difference between life and death.

Some cancer will grow and spread in a matter of weeks

Some kinds of cancer, like mesothelioma, take literally decades to develop. Other forms of cancer are far more aggressive and go from early-stage cancer to a deadly condition in less than a year.  Multiple forms of cancer are more dangerous and deadly because they grow and metastasize faster than others. These include:

  • Certain kinds of breast and prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Large B-cell lymphoma

The urgency of accurately diagnosing cancer is why it is so crucial for doctors to rule out other causes of symptoms before arriving at a diagnosis. Yes, a basic summer cold could cause that constant cough and unexplained weight loss, but lung cancer could also be the explanation.

When a physician takes shortcuts, ignores symptoms or jumps to conclusions while diagnosing a patient, that patient could suffer as a result of the doctor’s failure. Realizing how big of an impact a delayed cancer diagnosis could have on your prognosis could inspire you to bring a claim against the physician who failed you.