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Challenges in diagnosing and treating rare cancers

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

People in Kentucky with rare cancers may face a difficult time getting a correct diagnosis, let alone receiving the correct treatment for their diseases. There are very few treatment options for some rare forms of cancer. Furthermore, patients may only learn that they have these rare cancers after spending a long time searching for a correct diagnosis. The rarer a disease is, the more common misdiagnosis may be. When it comes to cancer and other types of progressive diseases, misdiagnosis can make the disease far more severe and difficult to treat. Early detection is particularly significant in cancer treatment.

Rare tumors, which can be especially challenging to study effectively, are often misdiagnosed. There are few people with these cancers to participate in any study. Most reports are individual and anecdotal, and doctors may not have a significant population to work with and engage in a proper clinical trial. This is one reason why many researchers are looking toward genetics and immunotherapy as a way to treat rare cancers. Several types of cancer find it difficult to repair their own DNA if damaged. Immunotherapies can be used to treat any of these cancers, even if one type is rarer than another.

Some other gene fusions are found in multiple cancers, and treatments that work for breast, prostate or bladder cancers can also be effective for rarer tumors that share these genetic commonalities. Experts emphasize that patient and family advocacy is important in driving research and funding to rare diseases.

When cancer is not diagnosed quickly, people may find themselves facing a worsened health condition and even death. Those who have suffered because of a medical error or misdiagnosis can consult with a malpractice attorney about their options to pursue compensation for their damages.