'Diagnosed with' versus 'Diagnosed having'


Could you please tell me if both of the following sentences are correct? If there is any better version for the same thought, I would be grateful to receive it!

1- He was diagnosed with cancer.
2- He was diagnosed having cancer.



I would add ‘as’ to the second sentence: diagnosed as having cancer. I wouldn’t use ‘with’.


Hi Tom

In your second sentence, I would also add the word ‘as’.

Saying ‘diagnosed with cancer’ (as in your first sentence) is not only my preference, but would also be the more commonly used expression in American English.


‘Diagnosed having cancer’ would be not be regarded as ‘correct’ from most linguistic standpoints… ‘Diagnosed as having cancer’ is more acceptable and accurate.

I would disagree with ‘Diagnosed with cancer’ as being a better phrase. It may be more common, but it is not accurate in the sense that it inevitably means that the diagnosis was one of cancer. One can interpret it to mean that the patient was diagnosed (ie: a diagnosis was made) and at the same time he had cancer (whetehr or not that was, in fact, recognized).

Hi Pond969

I agree that ‘diagnosed as having’ is also correct and did not say that ‘diagnosed with’ was “better”, but rather that it was my preference and is more commonly used in AmE: ‘diagnosed with + (specific disease)

In my opinion, it would be extraordinarly unlikely that a native speaker of English would interpret ‘diagnosed with cancer’ as you’ve described, much less use the phrase that way.

diagnose with


Hi Yankee …

When I said that ‘diagnosed as having’ is a more commonly used construction I think I acknowledged that native most English speakers would interpret it that way. However, if you want to analyze the ‘corectness’ or efficiency of a given term, I think you have to agree that ‘diagnosed with’ admits of more than one interpretation while ‘diagnosed as having’ has one specific meaning.

I am a BA Graduate with honours in English Lit. and , as opposed to so many of my co-graduates, I resist (or at least take issue with those who would pedantically cite) ‘rules’ for English… My feeling is that such ‘rules’ do not exist. Nevertheless… I think that sometimes you can analyze linguistic constructions and detemine excatly what the words can represent.

BTW… I guess from the posts that I have seen from you tha you are not a pedant

…diagnosed as having cancer. (as others have said)

Though it’s not too uncommon to hear “diagnosed with…”.

The child was diagnosed as having streptococcus.

The child was diagnosed with streptococcus.

Hi Pond969,

I note from the posts that you have written over the last few days that you have a degree in English Literature but also detect that your style is very formal. What sort of writers did you study and who would be your role models in terms of particiular writers or particular styles?


Hi Alan … my Lit. degree was so long ago I don’t care to think about the passage of time but I suppose I read a fairly comprehensive range of writers… Today my reading leans heavily toward histories, scientific works etc. My writing these days is pretty much confined to legal briefs.