Errors in Diagnosising Cancer

Rueters reports that “in a review of patient specimens, errors in cancer diagnosis were seen in up to 11.8 percent of cases, according to a report in the medical journal Cancer. Moreover, in a substantial proportion of cases, the error caused some degree of harm for the patient.”

The article goes on to say that “the frequency of errors varied between hospitals and ranged from 1.79 percent to 9.42 percent for gynecologics cases and from 4.87 percent to 11.8 percent for other cases, the researchers note. A significant link between the institution and the error cause was observed. As for the cause of errors, up to 50 percent were due to misinterpretation with the remainder being due to poor tissue sampling.”

Forbes has an even more complete description of the study.