Common Misdiagnosed Health Conditions

Misdiagnoses are one of the most common causes of medical malpractice. When a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition, the patient may miss an opportunity to treat the actual disease in the early stages. The patient may also undergo unnecessary medical treatments.

Here are some of the most common misdiagnosed health conditions.


Several types of cancers, including melanoma, lung cancer and breast cancer, are frequently misdiagnosed by doctors. They may fail to recognize the signs of these cancers or neglect to order sufficient testing. For example, some doctors may mistake lung cancer for asthma or bronchitis. Some cancers can spread very quickly, so misdiagnosing the disease could cost a patient his or her life.

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are another medical condition frequently misdiagnosed, especially in younger people. Doctors may assume that younger people are dealing with anxiety or indigestion instead, for example. Heart attacks are very serious and can be fatal if they aren’t treated promptly.


Fibromyalgia is a health condition that causes musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Unfortunately, the condition has symptoms similar to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, so it is often misdiagnosed by doctors.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick that carries the Lyme bacteria. It can cause muscle pain, stomach pain, vomiting, a stiff neck and shortness of breath. The health condition is frequently misdiagnosed as other medical conditions, like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. 

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system and can cause tremors, impaired coordination and muscle stiffness. The condition is frequently misdiagnosed as other illnesses, like stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. There is no specific test that can diagnose Parkinson’s disease.


Depression is a common mental health condition that is also frequently misdiagnosed by doctors. Depression has symptom overlap with other conditions, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and hypothyroidism. People with depression who are misdiagnosed with other health conditions can receive an incorrect medication and feel worse.

What to Do If You Received a Misdiagnosis

If you have received a misdiagnosis, you may have a medical malpractice on your hand. It is important to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer, like one from Ward & Ward Law Firm, about your case as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you gather necessary evidence to prove your case and improve your chances of a successful outcome.

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