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Misdiagnosed or Undiagnosed: Empowered Patients Get the Right Answers

Some statistics say that as many as 40 percent of all diagnoses are incorrect. Some patients may spend weeks or months, undiagnosed, with no answer to what is causing their symptoms. Understanding the roots of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can help patients work with their physicians to arrive at the right answers.
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  2. Unusual, Rare and Orphan Diagnoses (5)

Misdiagnosis -- What is Misdiagnosis?
Patients are misdiagnosed too often and most don't realize they are at risk of misdiagnosis. Learn how misdiagnosis happens, and what a wise patient can do to prevent being misdiagnosed.

A Story of Misdiagnosis
Receiving a wrong diagnosis can be devastating. Learn how the About.com Guide to Patient Empowerment found out she received a wrong diagnosis and how this misdiagnosis taught her about the importance of taking an active role in one's health care.

How Common Is Misdiagnosis or Missed Diagnosis?
Sometimes you have symptoms that persist, or your doctor prescribes treatment but it doesn't seem to work. If so, it's possible you have been misdiagnosed, or that your doctor missed your diagnosis. While it seems like missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses would be uncommon, you'll find that they are more common than you think.

When You Can't Get a Diagnosis
One form of medical misdiagnosis is called Failure to Diagnose. It occurs when a patient can't get an accurate diagnosis, also called a missed diagnosis. Knowing the reasons why a diagnose eludes a doctor, and what the outcomes might be, will help you get closer to your own diagnosis.

Mystery Diagnosis - How to Solve Your Undiagnosed Medical Disease or Condition
Thousands of patients go undiagnosed each year. They get frustrated because no one can seem to solve the mystery of their illness. Here are some steps to take to try to arrive at a solution for your undiagnosed medical disease or condition.

Undiagnosed Patients - Not Every Disease or Medical Condition Has a Name
Each year thousands of patients suffer symptoms, and suffer from the frustration of having no name for those symptoms - no diagnosis. Unfortunately, not every set of symptoms may have the answer those patients seek. Here is more information about symptoms with no name.

Diagnosis Problems for Patients: Unnamed and Newly Named Medical Conditions
Not all diseases and conditions have names - yet. New constellations of symptoms are constantly being paired and named. The problem is, patients already have these diseases, they just don't have names for them yet. Learn more about not-yet-named or newly named diseases and conditions and how to find help if yours doesn't yet have a name.

About Being Undiagnosed or Frustrated by a Mystery Illness
Here are stories of people who have suffered for more than a year without being diagnosed. Their stories are shared in hopes it will help them find more resources, or help someone else solve their own medical mystery.See submissions

Is Your Illness All in Your Head?
Patients who are frustrated by trying to get a distinct medical diagnosis for their problem are sometimes told by their physicians that it's "all in their head." Here are some alternate ways of looking at that accusation.

Undiagnosed or Misdiagnosed ? You May Have a Rare Disease
Nothing is more frustrating than a set of symptoms and no name that goes with them. There are thousands of rare diseases, and they may be the answer for patients who are undiagnosed or have been misdiagnosed.

What to Do If Your Doctor Tells You "It's All in Your Head"
It's horribly frustrating to have a doctor tell us that physical symptoms may be all in our head! But there are some steps you can take in order to prove your doctor wrong and get the help you need.

Are You Seeing the Right Specialist?
When a patient has a difficult time getting a diagnosis, or thinks he may have been misdiagnosed, it could be because he is working with the wrong kind of specialist.

Differential Diagnosis: What Else Might Your Illness Be?
The process of differential diagnosis helps patients understand the evidence used to determine their diagnosis, helps them learn about alternatives, and helps them confirm that their diagnosis was made correctly.

Is It Time to Change Doctors? Perhaps a New Doctor Can Diagnose You
There are a number of reasons a patient may decide to change doctors, and failure to diagnose may be one. Sometimes it's a necessity, and others it's a choice. Learn about good reasons for making changes and the first steps toward a smooth transition.

A Personal Story of Following Up on Medical Tests - Tissue and Organ Samples
This is a personal story about following the trail of the tumor that was removed from me, to see whether it had been disposed of, sold or stored, or whether it was being used in medical research.

What Is Disease Mongering and What Is the Tie to Medicalization?
Some diseases and conditions aren't discovered by scientists or doctors. Instead they are invented by pharmaceutical or medical device companies or others who can make money from them. Learn why disease mongering is more about making money than helping patients.

Effective Doctor-Patient Communications: More Accurate Diagnosing
Sometimes problems with diagnosis can stem from communications problems between patients and their practitioners. The foundation for effective communications comes from respect. The patients can use these ideas to help them learn more from their doctors and other providers.

Fran Drescher Turns Misdiagnosis Into Cancer Awareness Campaign
We knew and loved Fran Drescher as The Nanny on TV in the 1990s. Shortly after the show ended, she suffered her first misdiagnosis of cancer. Read about Fran's journey -- from getting a corrected diagnosis to her work today as advocate, author, movement leader and diplomat.

Book Review: What's Wrong With Me?
Book review of What's Wrong With Me? (The Frustrated Patient's Guide to Getting an Accurate Diagnosis), by Lynn M. Dannheisser and Jerry M. Rosenbaum, MD.

Using Health Website Symptom Checkers
When we experience unusual symptoms, we are curious about their causes. Even before we see our doctor or have a medical test, we want to know the answers about what could be causing those symptoms. Symptom checker applications are available on many health websites, but how accurate can they be?

Lyme Disease Resources and References
Whether you are just trying to avoid getting Lyme Disease, you have already been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, or you are frustrated with getting the diagnosis or treatment, here are some resources you'll find useful for understanding Lyme Disease.

Nine Years Later - a Second Lump Proves that Empowerment Changes Everything

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