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Why some doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | Failure to Diagnose |

When a Florida medical patient has cancer, that patient’s chances of recovering and beating cancer improve quite a bit when doctors make the cancer diagnosis within a timely manner. Yet, sometimes, certain types of cancer look similar to other medical conditions, making timely cancer diagnoses hard to come by.

Per Medical News Today, many doctors mistakenly diagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones. When this happens, it has the potential to have a serious impact on a patient’s overall prognosis.

Why doctors often misdiagnose kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is difficult to diagnose, and this is largely because many of the symptoms associated with it do not become apparent until the disease has progressed to a certain point. Many doctors also misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones, and this may be due to the fact that the two conditions have similar symptoms in common. A fever, the presence of blood in a patient’s urine and severe pain on one side of the lower back are all possible indications of kidney stones – or kidney cancer.

What happens when doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer

When a doctor misdiagnoses kidney cancer as kidney stones, it prevents the patient from receiving proper cancer treatment. This raises the chance of the cancer metastasizing, or moving to other parts of the body. Research shows that 93% of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer before the cancer spreads are still alive five years after their diagnoses. Yet, once cancer spreads beyond the kidneys, the five-year survival rate falls to 71%.

Because the stakes are so high following a medical diagnosis, it is wise for patients to seek second opinions anytime they receive a serious diagnosis or suspect their physicians might have made diagnostic mistakes.