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Common Medical Conditions That Are Misdiagnosed

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According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, getting an inaccurate medical diagnosis happens all too frequently in the United States. Up to 20 percent of patients are misdiagnosed and some of these instances may cause life-threatening complications. Orlando home care providers want families to be aware of the following commonly misdiagnosed conditions.


The Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that incorrect cancer diagnoses happen up to 28 percent of the time. The rate increases for certain types of cancer. A countrywide survey completed by hundreds of oncologists revealed that misdiagnoses most often happen in the case of breast cancer, lymphoma, melanoma and sarcoma. Reasons for the errors include missing patient information, insufficient time taken to evaluate patients and incomplete patient medical histories.


Anxiety, irritability and chronic sadness are all symptoms of depression. Affected seniors might also feel tired for no apparent reason, have difficulty concentrating and complain of sleep disturbances. Sometimes symptoms are general or overlap with anxiety, bi-polar or post-traumatic stress disorders. Providing a complete family and medical history along with undergoing a physical examination helps reduce the chance of misdiagnosis.

Heart Attack

Symptoms of a heart attack vary with gender and age. While a younger adult might experience the sudden onset of excruciating chest pain, an older person might only have what he or she assumes is indigestion. Women are especially at risk for misdiagnosis. Unexplained nausea is a more common sign among females.


The American Heart Association warns that physicians overlook stroke symptoms in tens of thousands of citizens annually. Practitioners often confuse signs of a stroke with alcohol intoxication, migraine headaches or vertigo. Seniors demonstrating confusion, difficulty with speech, extreme headaches, one-sided numbness, tingling or muscle weakness should seek medical attention as they may require Orlando stroke home care.

Thyroid Malfunction

The thyroid gland plays a major role in many body functions. When the gland becomes under-active, many different symptoms appear. A lack of thyroid hormone leads to generalized fatigue and weakness along with weight gain, muscle aches and mood disorders. These symptoms are often mistaken for other health problems.

Should your senior loved one be diagnosed with a medical condition, it helps to get a second opinion. Additionally, you might turn to Home Care Assistance of Orlando, FL, for help looking after your loved one. We are the leading providers of flexible live-in, hourly and even respite home care Orlando families depend on to help seniors age in place. Call (407) 604-0506 today to learn more about our services and set up a free in-home consultation.

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