“More than 5% … of U.S. Adults, Could Be Misdiagnosed during an Outpatient Visit …, and about One-Half of These Errors Had the Potential to Lead to Worse Outcomes for the Patients.”

A Modern Healthcare article reported on a studies which defined misdiagnoses as “missed opportunities to make a timely or correct diagnosis based on the available evidence.”

“One of the studies used in the analysis, published in March 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine, identified nearly 70 different conditions for which misdiagnoses occurred in the primary-care setting, like pneumonia, renal failure and urinary tract infections. The other two focused specifically on cancer, including a retrospective study published in BMJ that used electronic health-record data to detect potential delays in prostate and colon cancer diagnoses; and a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which evaluated whether EHRs could be good predictors of misdiagnoses in lung cancer.”

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Colon Cancer Myths

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Here are the most common myths about this disease that I hear from my patients.

Myth:

“I feel fine, I have no pain or feel any lumps- there is no way for me to have colon cancer”

Reality:

Most patients who underwent screening colonoscopy and a colon cancer were found did NOT have any symptoms. Most importantly, those are the cases that are curable! By the time symptoms developed, unfortunately it is often already too late. 91% of patients with cancer that were detected early are alive and well 5 years after diagnosis. But only 37% of all colorectal cancer are diagnosed at this stage- we can do better, this is the most preventable cancer with screening.

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