How can young adults prevent a cancer misdiagnosis?

As a young adult or parent of a young adult, there's something you need to remember: Cancer could strike when you least expect it.

Many people, especially young adults, often believe that older individuals are the only ones who are diagnosed with cancer. This isn't true, as many children and young adults find themselves dealing with this potentially fatal disease at some point.

Here are some of the many steps young adults can take to help prevent a cancer misdiagnosis:

  • Push your doctor to find out what's wrong: It's easy to believe your doctor when or she says there's nothing wrong, but if you feel poorly, it's important to push for answers.
  • Get a second opinion: If you don't like what you hear from your doctor, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion as to clear the air. You may be surprised to find that your second medical provider has an entirely different point of view.
  • Educate yourself: For example, learn more about the many types of cancer that often affect people in your age group.
  • Learn more about your family history: If one or both of your parents were diagnosed with cancer at an early age, there's a greater chance that you will be as well.

These steps can go a long way in helping you prevent a cancer misdiagnosis. If you come to find that a doctor or other medical professional has made a mistake, don't hesitate to seek treatment elsewhere. Furthermore, it's important to learn more about your legal rights during this difficult time.

Source: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, "Young Adult Cancer: How to Avoid Misdiagnosis," accessed April 20, 2018

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