A misdiagnosis can lead to disastrous effects. You could be hurt incorrect treatment, or your actual issue could worsen. How often do they actually happen, though? Is misdiagnosis something you should be worried about?

According to 2019 reports by Docpanel, around 12 million adults receive a misdiagnosis every year. That’s 1 out of every 20 adults seeking outpatient care. A misdiagnosis that is not corrected can lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments, physical and emotional pain, increased costs and even loss of life.

Why does misdiagnosis happen?

A misdiagnosis can happen for many different reasons. The most common one is that scans are examined by a general radiologist rather than a specialist. This can also happen when a doctor doesn’t order necessary tests to follow-up or interprets test results incorrectly.

What are the most common misdiagnoses?

The most common misdiagnosis is cancer because it often has common symptoms. Up to 44% of cancer is missed or misdiagnosed. The most common types of cancer that receive misdiagnosis are in the prostate, thyroid and breast.

Other conditions that are often misdiagnosed are heart attacks, depression, stroke and fibromyalgia.

Does a second opinion change anything?

Yes, a second opinion can change everything. 88% of patients that get a second opinion end up with a change or alteration to their diagnosis. 66% get a more specific diagnosis, while 21% get a whole new report. 12% were able to get a confirmation of their original diagnosis, which means they can confidently move forward with treatment. Getting the opinion of a specialist or a subspecialty radiologist can make a huge difference in the course of your medical journey.