People in Arkansas who undergo routine cancer screenings should be aware of the concept of overdiagnosis. This is defined as the identification of cancer well before it would cause symptoms or affect a person's life. Cancer overdiagnosis could lead to further testing and potentially harmful treatments that make a person deal with the stress and discomfort of cancer years before it would otherwise have been an issue.
A cancer epidemiologist explained that screening technologies like mammograms and prostate tests sometimes detect tumor cells that would not have been found on a physical exam. Among the elderly, these early cancer detections serve little purpose because other medical conditions unrelated to cancer often lead to the person's death. Some medical experts question treatment of an early cancer that is unlikely to impact someone's life with symptoms.
Overdiagnosis should not be confused with misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis occurs when benign cells are deemed malignant. This situation also adds stress and expense to a person's life because it prompts more testing and sometimes unnecessary treatments.
Those patients who believe that unnecessary treatments for cancer or another condition burdened them with medical expenses and reduced life quality may want to explore holding responsible the medical professionals who prescribed the treatment. Discussing the matter with an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation might help to determine if the medical records point to unnecessary treatments. If a medical professional pursued treatments without taking reasonable actions to confirm a diagnosis, ti may be an indication of negligence. An attorney could assist with the filing of a lawsuit seeking damages for the costs of medical care as well as wages lost while the person was unable to work.