'The Good Doctor' inspired by real-life chance discoveries

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and diagnosis differs with every case.

Sometimes people show symptoms, but other times, it's found completely by accident.

On the latest episode of "The Good Doctor," a patient's cancer was discovered while being treated by doctors after a marlin impaled his leg.

The story was inspired by real-life chance discoveries, like in Washington State when a routine teeth cleaning led to the discovery of a cancerous tumor in a 5-year-old.

Doctors say early detection is key, regardless of how it's found.

"It's important to remember that most cancers will not be found on incidental or routine accidental testing," said Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC's Chief Medical Editor. "Most cancers do cause signs and symptoms, but every once in a while, we do hear stories like this where it's detected in run of the mill incidental testing."

Watch "The Good Doctor" every Monday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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