When a New Mexico patient has cancer, the chances of that patient making a full recovery improve when doctors identify and treat the condition early. When doctors fail to catch cancer during one of its earlier stages, it often metastasizes to other parts of the body. Once this occurs, it may become far more serious or even fatal.
Per Medical News Today, kidney cancer, in particular, has a high rate of misdiagnosis, with many physicians misdiagnosing kidney cancer patients as having kidney stones. Because kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers, it is important that medical professionals become better adept at diagnosing it.
How often doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer
The results of one study that took place in the United Kingdom showed that almost half, or 45%, of all kidney cancer patients, initially receive the incorrect diagnosis. In 6% of those cases, the patients with kidney cancer had their doctors tell them they had kidney stones. Another 11% of patients surveyed who had kidney cancer had their doctors diagnose them with urine infections, rather than cancer.
Why doctors often misdiagnose kidney cancer
A big reason many kidney cancer patients receive the wrong diagnoses, and particularly, kidney stones diagnoses is that the symptoms associated with kidney cancer and kidney stones are often similar. Many patients with both afflictions experience fevers, pain, fatigue, severe pain on one side of their lower backs and blood in their urine.
Medical professionals should be able to raise the chances of making a proper diagnosis by reviewing blood work, imaging and other symptoms. Patients diagnosed with kidney stones may also want to consider seeking a second medical opinion.