Prompt and accurate medical diagnoses help New York patients manage their symptoms and target the root of their health problems, but some conditions are more frequently misdiagnosed than others. The repercussions of misdiagnosing some ailments are also far more serious than those associated with misdiagnosing others, and cancer, in particular, requires quick and accurate identification.
According to Medical News Today, kidney cancer, in particular, is prone to misdiagnosis, and doctors often misdiagnose the condition as kidney stones.
What happens when doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer
When doctors misdiagnose any type of cancer, it has the potential to delay treatment. This, in turn, raises the chances of the cancer spreading outside of the initial area, at which point it may become far more serious or even deadly. Research shows that when doctors catch kidney cancer before it spreads, a patient has a 93% chance of living another five years. Yet, after kidney cancer spreads, that five-year survival rate falls to 71%.
Why doctors often misdiagnose kidney cancer
The symptoms patients with kidney cancer and kidney stones exhibit are similar in nature. This plays a big role in doctors misdiagnosing kidney cancer. Patients experiencing both conditions might experience serious lower back pain, blood in their urine and fever. However, patients with kidney cancer, rather than kidney stones, may also have other symptoms, which might include fatigue, weight loss, anemia or lumps on their sides or lower backs.
While doctors often misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones, some patients with kidney cancer report having their doctors misdiagnose them with other conditions, such as urine infections. This is why it is smart to always get a second opinion after a serious medical diagnosis.