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lung cancer misdiagnosed as anxiety

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Kate_UK, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Kate_UK

    Kate_UK Senior Member

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2290128/University-professor-37-dies-lung-cancer-doctors-dismissed-symptoms-anxiety-depression.html

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...2/mislabeling-medical-illness-mental-disorder
    Shell and taniaaust1 like this.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    It's horrible when the system treats people with "unexplained symptoms" so badly that they're grateful to be diagnosed with a terminal disease. And it's inexcusable that anyone EVER uses a psychological diagnosis to cease medical investigation of serious symptoms.

    The doctors are very much to blame for her death, and so are all the assholes that push for psychosomatic diagnosis and consequent denial of basic medical care.
    Sidereal, Shell, taniaaust1 and 10 others like this.
  3. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    The NHS GPs at their finest. Budgets in their hands ye gods!! all they want to do is write you a prescription for the cheapest drugs and get you out of the door. No CT or MRI scans - Asthma, anxiety, depression. Cheap options for treatment.

    They all need sacking, but will they? no their job is not just for xmas but for life.
    And this poor young woman was married to a consultant. What chance have we?
    Shell and ukxmrv like this.
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Medical misdiagnoses will always occur, and whether misdiagnosis is caused by lack of observation on the part of the doctor, or because of unusual and atypical presentation of symptoms, you cannot know unless you have all the details of the case. That's why I find these stories annoying, as they are just a repeated standard format for newspapers, who never actually investigate the full medical details of the case. So in the absence of a detailed analysis, these stories are pretty irrelevant and not very informative. There's no particular relevance for ME/CFS in this story either.
  5. PhoenixBurger

    PhoenixBurger Senior Member

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    The problem is the *culture* of the medical system.

    The *culture* is reactionary at best, and for the most part, incapable of seeing past a core group of conditions.

    Any out of the box thinking or diagnostic testing (even if its very possible and applicable) is discouraged.

    The medical culture needs to change. The only thing that's going to force that change is the empowerment of the public, which is already happening with sites like these, the very existence of PubMed for the whole world to read ... etc.

    *You* find out what your symptoms may indicate. *You* determine what tests are appropriate. And *you* find a doctor who is willing to run them. If they refuse, or sit 5 feet away from you and make an assessment without so much as running a single test? Write them off as the incapable, useless doctors they are. Don't sit back and let doctors discourage you from proactive self-health care.

    Doctors may not know it yet, but their arrogant, high-horse position of the 1950's is soon going under. And thank God for that. The days when Doctors were the only one's who had access to medical information are over. And thank God for that.

    Still they scoff at all the misinformation online, as if that defines the value of the available information. Its a last ditch attempt on their part to secure their jobs. The people on this web site have out educated every doctor I have ever seen. Know more of the studies, treatment protocols, and proper solutions than any physician I've ever met.

    This is the future, and thank God that the information is now freely available to the public. Doctors will one day be nothing more than prescription writers. In fact that's what they are today for those of us who have grown weary of their unwillingness to help. And overzealous love of discouraging proactive self-health care.
    vamah, Shell, golden and 3 others like this.
  6. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    it is so hard to control my anger emotions when i hear stories like this. i still havent read osler's web because i am afraid the anger will have such a bad affect on me. so much ignorance, stupidity, and injustice.

    once you mention what a previous doctor thought, many doctors seem to just take the easy way out and agree. that way, they dont have to justify anything or make a real effort.

    damn. i cannot even keep typing this is making me so angry.

    places with socialized medicine have mostly crappy doctors who are overworked, underpaid, and dont give a #@#@. with private medicine, no one can afford to see the good doctors! both systems end up going too far on the spectrum...either ignorant or too greedy. you cant win!
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    So in the future, if we fail to spot our own lung cancers ourselves, we will only have to ourselves to blame.

    And in the future, newspapers will run articles saying: "Foolish individual had full access to the Internet, yet dismissed their own symptoms of anxiety and depression as purely psychological, even though they turned out to be cancer. They have only themselves to blame".
    ggingues likes this.
  8. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    A $40 x-ray could have changed their entire world!
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    True, but the problem is, if you have to X-ray every patient that comes in complaining of anxiety and depression symptoms, that is a hell of a lot of X-rays. And of course, anxiety and depression could be early manifestations of hundreds of other conditions, so you'd have test for all those too. You'd have to go through a huge battery of tests before you can say for certain that the patient definitely only has anxiety and depression, and nothing else more sinister. That battery of tests would cost say tens of thousands.

    And then of course, if you gave all those hundreds tests, a patient would complain that their visit to the doctor for a simple treatment for anxiety and depression had run up a bill of $10,000. Plus the patient would have hardly any blood left, after all those hundreds of blood samples were taken.

    Begin to see the difficulties here?
  10. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    You're being sarcastic, right?

    GG
    golden and Valentijn like this.
  11. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    The article quotes her as saying:
    She was not complaining of anxiety and depression. The doctors were the ones that diagnoses her with anxiety and depression. She had a range of symptoms that they could have used to guide a diagnosis, but they chose not to, despite the fact that she was getting worse.
    golden and taniaaust1 like this.
  12. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    No, I am just illustrating a point about what it would take to have a medical system that provided 100% flawless and accurate diagnosis: there would be a huge cost, and an unworkable setup where each patient would receive hundreds of medical tests for the slightest sniffle, cough or headache that we go to the doctor with.

    So for practical purposes, we have to accept that there will be occasional misdiagnosis that have fatal consequences. It saves money.

    But using this approach of saving money by dismissing patients with seemingly minor symptoms without further testing probably save more lives on balance.


    Same is true of aircraft safety. You never try to prevent all air crashes, as that would be unworkable and be counter-productive; what you do instead is spread your allocated air safely funds across the various areas of aircraft safety in such a way as maximize the number of lives you save for the money you have.

    So the same should apply in medicine, especially in socialized medicine such as the NHS where there are limitations on funds: you have to spend your allocated money wisely, in such as way that you save as many lives, and heal as many illnesses as you can.


    If your primary care doctor had to provide a 100% flawless and accurate diagnosis all the time, that would be so expensive that it would be counter-productive, as it would drain vital funds from other needed areas of the medical system.
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    As mentioned, whether a misdiagnosis is caused by lack of observation on the part of the doctor, or because of unusual and atypical presentation of symptoms, you cannot know which unless you have all the details of the case. An even if you do have all the details, you'd really need to have a medical background, not a journalistic background, to work out which.
  14. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Glad i'm on this side of the pond then, ridiculous!

    GG
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    To quote from the article:
    To assume "any breathing problem = asthma" to the extent that dramatic weight loss is ignored is just ludicrous. I don't know what the hell goes on in the UK, but when I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma in 2005, there was 1) a lung x-ray showing the signs of recent pneumonia, and 2) a methacholine challenge. Do people just go into the doctor with a bit of a wheeze and get the cheapest asthma drug shoved at them? That isn't diagnosis - that's guessing blindly.

    She had several serious symptoms, and NONE were investigated.
    Ema and Shell like this.
  16. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I disagree with you Hip - I don't think it is an isolated case thats why it makes me so angry - maybe its a bit personal for me. UK GP's jump on asthma diagnosis without doing further tests as they did with my sister who had clots on her lung from which she eventually died. She had been diagnosed 7 years earlier without x-ray, just one doctor's opinion. She always said I don't think I've got asthma.

    In this article Lisa states she once took 10 times the correct amount of asthma meds which did nothing????????was that a missed clue for them. Are you defending that?

    If they don't know what it is they won't say that - they just jump on anxiety and depression - tremors in my leg were diagnosed as anxiety - WTH.

    My GP's are arrogant, have no common sense and know little about a lot of things they should know.

    Here in the UK we've all got tales like this to tell, the system breaks down if you need anything that costs money to investigate, however they will throw prescriptions at you like sweets, especially a/depressants, mostly generic, and now the GP's have their own budgets god help us. They clutch them to their chest like the money is personally theirs.
    When I worked with NHS personel it was a joke that doctors buried their mistakes, how very true that is.
  17. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Yes I agree with the point of the discussion here - we all have tales to tell of ineptitude, doubting of patients, leaping to psycho explanations to cover ignorance. Mine started with lack of diagnosis of severe hypothyroidism - a subseqent Doc found and the original Doc sent quietly back to school (now I/C glandular problems I heard). Needless to say complications developed.
  18. PhoenixBurger

    PhoenixBurger Senior Member

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    I love that you're trying to defend an obviously failed system. That's cute. If you'd read the article you'd see she had many many symptoms. She didn't just come in complaining of anxiety. Read the article. The doctor told her she had anxiety. Most likely through his oustanding skills of "sitting 5 feet away and looking at her body language". That kind of medicine is the problem. She came in complaining of shortness of breath and pain in her arm. She didn't come in complaining of "anxiety". She got labeled with anxiety and sent home. Proper protocol here, even for the inept medical fools, is to run an X Ray, which they never did.

    Hip the fact that you're blathering on with this nonsense "well if we give everyone an X ray thats a lot of x rays!" just made me lose all respect for your ability to think clearly. Sorry. If i didn't know better I would think you work in the medical world. Because only doctors can come up with such absurd, idiotic nonsense like this, to defend their utter failure at providing proper medical care.

    YES everyone should be given an X ray. Every car that goes into the dealer for checkup is given every appropriate diagnostic test - and then some. My car gets more attention than my body EVER has ... and I really don't think my cars health is more important than my own.

    By the way if you want to avoid that scary large bill from the doctor - the solution isnt to provide crap quality medical care with insufficient testing. That's what they're already doing. The solution is reform on medical billing costs. Do you really think an MRI should cost $25,000?

    Educate yourself Hip: http://chcer.net/reflections-on-tim...hy-medical-bills-are-killing-us-steven-brill/
    ggingues, Ema, maryb and 1 other person like this.
  19. PhoenixBurger

    PhoenixBurger Senior Member

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    That's hilarious. You think this doesn't happen every day in the USA? How many members here are from the USA and get the exact same level of nonsense from their doctors? The exact same unwillingness to run tests. The exact same "anxiety" label without so much as a single exam? This isn't an "over the pond" thing. It happens in the USA every day. It happened to me from 6 different doctors over the last 10 months and I am right here in beloved america.

    Simple statistic: 18,000 people die every year in USA hospitals due to medical errors or misdiagnosis. 18,000 people every year.
    maryb likes this.
  20. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Clear Light
    It reminds me I have a book I am wanting to buy called

    How to stop your Doctor Killing You.

    It sounds like it might come in handy :)

    This situation is absolutely common place. Patients are becoming wise to the lies and cover ups and the fraud that is rampant in patients medical records. Whilst we have been isolated in the past without any real chance of complaints being heard, access to information and each other, real people, shows us that it is in no way the odd negligence.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...or-mistook-tuberculosis-for-lovesickness.html

    I always remember this young lady, and the distress doctors caused her as they used their usual doctrine skills on her.

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