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Misdiagnoses of brain cancer in children

Cancer is unfortunately a common cause of death in Florida. A correct diagnosis is crucial for cancer patients to have a good chance to benefit from treatment. However, a recent study found that brain tumors in children are often misdiagnosed.

The study looked at traditional methods of diagnosing brain cancer in children. It found that these methods were lacking compared to the results of newer tests designed to look at molecular profiles called DNA methylation profiling. This type of testing may become standard practice in the future.

Traditional diagnoses for children categorize brain tumors based on their location within the brain and how they appear under a microscope. Researchers found that many cancers that look the same are actually quite different based on DNA tests. The study revealed that some patients were being treated for cancers that were actually much different than what further testing revealed they had.

Scientists looked at 31 patients who had been diagnosed through traditional testing with central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumors (CNS-PNET). They found that 18 patients actually had glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Some patients had a type of brain cancer known as a supratentorial embryonal tumor and did much better than expected.

Misdiagnosis can be a form of medical malpractice. An attorney may be able to help a client prove that a health care provider committed medical professional negligence by failing to diagnose a condition correctly. Medical malpractice cases can be quite complex. However, legal counsel could help by presenting expert testimony from other medical professionals.

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