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If you’ve been diagnosed incorrectly, you know how seriously your life has been affected. Maybe your diagnosis was incorrect and you weren’t sick at all, but you still faced the stress and anxiety of that potential illness. Or, maybe you were diagnosed incorrectly, allowing cancer to spread to stages that are hard or impossible to treat.

There are around 1.3 million people who receive a diagnosis for cancer every year. Some of these diagnoses are wrong. That doesn’t necessarily mean the person doesn’t have cancer, but in some situations, the cancer is misdiagnosed as the wrong kind or doesn’t exist at all.

Diagnoses are given by a pathologist in most cases, and the patient isn’t actually seen in most cases. Instead, that pathologist is just looking at tissue samples in a lab. Researching samples from 6,000 cancer patients, it was discovered that around one in 71 was incorrectly diagnosed.

Misjudging a kind of cancer or how far it has spread can be devastating for a patient. Assuming it’s there when it isn’t can lead to surgeries and treatments that aren’t necessary; not treating enough in a patient who is more advanced can lead to the cancer spreading to terminal levels.

Sometimes, cells can mimic cancer, but they’re relatively harmless. That’s why second opinions, and third and fourths, are often recommended. Expert pathologists are the go-to in many difficult cases. Our website has more about what to do if you’ve been affected by a misdiagnosis. You don’t have to face this alone; you have a right to compensation for your suffering.