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What are the most common misdiagnoses that doctors make?

The most important step in treating a patient's medical condition is the diagnosis. When it comes to diagnosis, Maryland residents are no different from most Americans. They tend to trust every single thing their doctors say about their condition. That may be true given that doctors and other medical providers spend a number of years to study and obtain experience before practicing. Despite the fact they are considered experts, doctors are prone to committing medical mistakes such as misdiagnosis.

In fact, a certain study revealed that diagnostic errors may impact as many as 12 million people every year. That is one out of every 20 adults. The study claims that half of those misdiagnoses can be harmful to the patients. The risk of misdiagnoses is greater to patients suffering from a really rare disease or common disease. For example, a heart attack can be misdiagnosed by doctors. The symptoms of a heart attack may vary in each patient. Older people may not experience the same symptom of crushing chest pain, which typically happens to younger ones. A 2014 study reported that heart attack among women is often misdiagnosed for something else.

Doctors also misdiagnosed celiac disease. An expert assessed that nearly 83 percent of people suffering from celiac disease is either misdiagnosed or undiagnosed with other condition. The symptoms of celiac disease are similar to constipation, abdominal pain and diarrhea, making it hard for physicians to properly diagnose it.

The most serious kind of misdiagnosis would be misdiagnosis of cancer. Unfortunately, such mistake affects 28 percent to 40 percent types of cancer. A survey found that most case of cancer misdiagnoses involve sarcomas, breast cancer, lymphoma and melanoma. Missing patient information, incomplete medical history and inadequate patient evaluation is the reasons behind such kind of misdiagnoses.

Source: Everyday Health, "10 Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions," Accessed on Dec. 27, 2014

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