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Techniques address endometriosis misdiagnosis

Jul 11, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

New York women may be interested in advancements in diagnostic testing for endometriosis. This serious disease effects nearly 10 percent of women of child-bearing age. Symptoms typically include pelvic pain, menstrual cramps and painful menstruation. It has been extremely difficult to diagnose correctly.

Scientists are developing a possible technique that would dramatically improve the diagnosis of endometriosis. It involves the use of biomarkers to correctly identify the disease and target treatment. Researchers hope that discovery of these biomarkers will not only give doctors a long-sought diagnostic tool but also help to uncover new treatments and therapies.

A study in Human Reproduction found that as many as 65 percent of women who have endometriosis are misdiagnosed. Nearly half of those women needed to be evaluated by five different physicians before finally receiving the correct diagnosis. These women end up waiting as long as 11 years to even begin treatment. The difficulty with diagnosis seems to be a lack of proper diagnostic tools or techniques and a lack of clear understanding of the disease causes and pathways. Since the symptoms overlap with other diseases, clear diagnosis is further hampered.

While the development of better diagnostic tools is great news, the breakthroughs are not yet complete or usable. It is unclear how long women may have to wait. In the meantime, it is important for women to understand what to do if they do suffer a delayed diagnosis. Endometriosis can be expensive to treat, and delayed treatment or improper treatment leads to even more expenses. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help an affected client pursue appropriate damages.