Cancer May Be Misdiagnosed As Benign Growths and Hormonal Changes
The third most commonly misdiagnosed diseases are cancer. One study found that 12 percent of all cancers are misdiagnosed, with skin cancer being the most frequent error. In the earliest stages, many cancers are invisible or have symptoms that are easily missed or mistaken for other conditions. For example, bladder cancer symptoms like frequent and painful urination mimic those of a urinary tract infection. The persistent cough and chest pain associated with lung cancer resembles pneumonia, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Skin cancer may look like many noncancerous growths like cysts, polyps, and abscesses.
Cancer can also hide behind conditions that impact hormones, causing cancer-like symptoms. Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest cancers despite being very survivable when caught early. Unfortunately, only about 20 percent of cases are detected during the early stages. The disease’s danger is in its ability to remain invisible until it’s too late. With symptoms like abdominal and pelvic pain, heavy periods, and fatigue, it’s easy to see how it might be missed. Diseases that mimic ovarian cancer include uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and urinary tract infection. Similarly, menopause can disguise the symptoms of uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer.