The safety and health of our community come first. In these extraordinary times we are working remotely most days.

But we are working—working to advocate for our clients and protect their rights. You can reach us by phone and email, just like always. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, or if you have a situation where we might be able to help.

200+ years

of personal injury
on your side

Photo of the attorneys at Young Ricchiuti Caldwell & Heller, LLC

Why some doctors misdiagnose kidney cancer as kidney stones

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Blog, Medical Malpractice

Diagnosing medical conditions accurately enables a patient to have effective treatment. However, in some cases, doctors face challenges when trying to distinguish between kidney cancer and kidney stones.

When doctors fail to diagnose kidney cancer, or any type of cancer, within a timely manner, it raises the chances of the cancer metastasizing to other parts of the body.

Similar symptoms

Kidney cancer and kidney stones often produce similar symptoms. Both conditions can cause lower back pain, blood in the urine and frequent urination. This overlap in symptoms can lead doctors to initially consider kidney stones as the more likely diagnosis.

Lack of routine screening tests

Unlike some cancers, kidney cancer does not have routine screening tests for early detection. Kidney stones, on the other hand, are identifiable through imaging studies such as CT scans or ultrasounds. This lack of specific screening tools for kidney cancer makes it challenging to identify the disease at an early, more treatable stage.

Imaging confusion

Many physicians rely on imaging studies to assess kidney-related issues. However, both kidney stones and kidney tumors can appear as masses on these scans. It can be challenging to differentiate between the two, leading to misdiagnosis.

Underestimation of risk factors

Some doctors may also underestimate the risk factors for kidney cancer, such as a family history of the disease, smoking or exposure to certain chemicals. Failing to consider these risk factors may play a role in misdiagnosis.

Per a study chronicled in Medical News Today, about 45% of patients with kidney cancer initially had their doctors misdiagnose them with something else, so it is important that patients understand the risk of misdiagnosis and advocate for their health.

FindLaw Network

It Won’t Cost You Anything To Take The Next Step

Start Your Free, No-obligation Case Review