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Failure to diagnose cancer in its early stages can be devastating

Cancer is a horrible disease. While survival rates have increased and it's not the death sentence it once was, the diagnosis can still be devastating. Some cancers are unique to women. The symptoms of these cancers can present as appearing to be something else, particularly if other conditions that commonly present with the cancer are not present. In Oregon and across the country, failure to diagnose in the case of cancer can be devastating.

Fran Drescher, a well known actress, survived uterine cancer but was not diagnosed until her symptoms were prominent. Most women with uterine cancer are post-menopausal or obese. Fran Drescher was neither. When she first consulted a doctor she was told she had a perimenopausal condition and did not receive a test that would have caught the uterine cancer very early. It took her two years and eight different doctors to get an accurate diagnosis by which time the cancer had advanced to a later stage.

If uterine or ovarian cancer is diagnosed early, the survival rates are fairly good. One problem is that the early cancer symptoms mimic other diseases. Ovarian cancer may first appear to be irritable bowel syndrome, but if it is diagnosed at this stage a woman's chance of surviving for five years is 93 percent.

Doctors across the country and in Oregon endeavor to provide a high level of care to their patients. However mistakes can still be made. If a woman in Oregon believes she may have received a misdiagnosis and is struggling to find answers, she may benefit from speaking to an attorney. Doctors should be held accountable for a failure to diagnose and a successful claim can result in much-needed compensation.

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