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Pediatric cancer must be timely and accurately diagnosed

Going to the doctor when you think something is amiss with your health is the first step in finding out what is wrong. For parents, there is often a guessing game that comes with determining when something is wrong with your children’s health. You count on the doctors to diagnose what condition your child has when there is something that just isn’t right.

It is interesting to note that each of a child’s life stages has some specific health concerns. For newborns, the most common issue is a birth injury. There isn’t much of a chance that the baby will be born with cancer, but it could happen. As the child moves beyond the newborn stage, there is an increased risk of pediatric cancer. In fact, an average of 43 children are diagnosed with cancer each day in this country.

Sometimes a death sentence

Pediatric cancer doesn’t discriminate — it can kill children Around 12 percent of children who are stricken with this disease die from it. For some patients, the difference between life and death is tied to the speed of diagnosis and treatment. A child who had a good chance of survival could end up passing away if the cancer isn’t diagnosed and left to spread until it is beyond a cure.

As a parent, you turn to the doctors and assume they will make an accurate diagnosis based on the information. The issue that might come into the picture is that doctors often try to rush patients through their appointments. They might chalk up some of the more common pediatric cancer symptoms to a viral infection.

Misdiagnosis is unacceptable

It is true that many symptoms, such as fevers, pain, fatigue, profuse sweating and bruising that signal life-threatening cancers also can indicate viral conditions. This is one of the reasons why doctors need to be thorough when they examine patients. Trying to rush can easily lead to misdiagnoses. Doctors need to slow down to prevent misdiagnoses stemming from negligence.

When cancer is allowed to spread freely, the child’s life can be shortened considerably. There might not be much that can be done to fight advanced cancer, but the parents of a child who is stricken with this disease will want to explore all of the available options. One that they shouldn’t forget about is holding the negligent doctor accountable for the child’s untimely death.