Misdiagnosed

Women are all too familiar with the struggle to get their symptoms taken seriously by doctors. These are their stories, plus pro tips for how you can take charge of that gut feeling that something's wrong.

It Happened to Me: Real talk from women who've been there

Before She Was Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis, This Dancer and DJ Saw 14 Specialists

It took three years and countless doctors and physical therapists for Diane Palaganas, 36, to find out what was really causing the leg tremors and weakness that made it increasingly difficult to continue her dancing career.

Doctors Dismissed the Lump on My Neck as a ‘Swollen Lymph Node’ for 5 Years—but It Turned Out to Be Cancer

During her first year of medical school, Diana Cejas went to the doctor because she found a lump on her neck. She was told it was “nothing to worry about” and that antibiotics would take care of it.

This Woman Had Burning Breast Pain, but 4 Doctors Told Her 'Breast Cancer Doesn't Hurt'

The burning pain in Sarah Dickinson's right breast started when she was pregnant, and doctors explained it as a side effect of her developing milk ducts. But an ultrasound after she gave birth showed something more serious.

Degenerative Disc Disease Was Causing My Crippling Back Pain, but Doctors Blamed My Posture, My Purse, Even MS

This 38-year-old woman visited countless medical experts over 4 years—and came away with countless misdiagnoses. Finally, one specialist actually read her MRI and discovered the real cause of her debilitating pain.

My Constant Insomnia Turned Out to Be a Symptom of a Rare Disorder Called Hypophosphatasia

After doctors couldn't figure out why she was suffering such terrible insomnia, Heather Barrow, 41, did her own research—and she learned she was born with a rare genetic disorder that also affected her mom and teenage daughter.

I Had Symptoms of Preeclampsia During My Pregnancy—but My Ob-Gyn Kept Shaming Me for My Weight Gain

My doctor was so focused on the 52 pounds I'd gained by my third trimester, she missed a pregnancy disorder that could have killed me and my unborn child.

More Misdiagnosed

My Doctor Misdiagnosed Me With Seasonal Allergies—but I Actually Had Lung Cancer That Spread to My Brain

At first, Gina Hollenbeck was told that her chronic cough was due to seasonal allergies, then a second doctor chalked it up to gastric reflux. It was a chest X-ray she insisted on paying for out of pocket that led to her terminal cancer diagnosis.

You Got This: How to be your own advocate


Diagnostic Errors Make Up One-Third of Serious Malpractice Claims, Study Shows

Misdiagnoses are the most common, costly, and dangerous medical errors.