The five most commonly misdiagnosed diseases and conditions
Some diseases and conditions are more difficult to diagnose than others. While the overall rate of diagnostic error is reliably estimated at around five percent, these illnesses are much easier to miss or to misdiagnosis. As such, it is extremely important for patients to seek a second medical opinion to confirm them. Here are five diseases doctors often have a harder time diagnosing.
Because it is an illness that can present common symptoms, cancer is the most misdiagnosed disease. According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, doctors may miss or misdiagnose certain types of cancer up to 44 percent of the time.
2. Heart attack
Often mistaken for anxiety or indigestion, a cardiac episode can be deadly without timely treatment. Patients should insist on a second medical opinion if they have any doubts or questions about their heart health.
Many doctors lack the training needed to properly diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Often mistaken and dismissed as a mood or phase, people with depression can have a hard time finding the help they need.
Even experienced physicians sometimes discount or overlook the symptoms of a stroke because they are common. Young people, in particular, may be prematurely discharged from the hospital because their stroke symptoms were misdiagnosed as vertigo, intoxication or a migraine.
Some medical conditions have symptoms that mirror those of more common illnesses. Because it can cause joint pain, fatigue and muscle aches, fibromyalgia is often mistaken for rheumatic diseases like lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
Patients who have been diagnosed with any of the aforementioned conditions should seek a second medical opinion as soon as possible.