Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a terrifying experience; however, not receiving a timely diagnosis can be even scarier once the cancer is eventually discovered.
Lymphoma occurs in your blood and impacts your entire lymphatic system. It may be more challenging to treat when a doctor fails to diagnose lymphoma properly.
If you are the victim of a lymphoma misdiagnosis, you could have the legal right to bring a claim for damages.
To learn more, contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer at Poulos & Coates, LLP today.
A lymphoma misdiagnosis is especially problematic because your lymphatic system regulates your immune system. There’s a good chance a doctor can treat it when caught early.
However, a misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis means you are missing out on valuable treatment time, which can lead to a rapid spread of cancer.
If the doctor should’ve diagnosed you earlier, you could receive compensation for your damages.
While a financial settlement won’t eradicate cancer, it can help cover some of the expensive medical treatments you’re undergoing.
Is Lymphoma Hard to Diagnose?
Depending on the type of lymphoma, diagnosis can be nebulous. There are two main types of lymphoma. The first is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is commonly referred to as Hodgkin’s disease.
The second is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is harder to diagnose and more deadly.
Doctors can more easily identify Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to specific cells called Reed-Sternberg cells.
With non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, white blood cells mutate, start dividing, and spreading. The mutated cells can spread quickly to other areas of the body.
To diagnose Hodgkin’s lymphoma, doctors need to use imaging and blood tests. A blood test can determine whether your body has Reed-Sternberg cells.
Imaging tests such as MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays may reveal lymphoma. Diagnosing non-Hodgkin lymphoma requires doctors to do a biopsy.
A biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Doctors typically do a bone marrow biopsy if the initial biopsy confirms non-Hodgkin lymphoma to determine how far the cancer has spread.
Common Symptoms of Lymphoma
Some of the most common lymphoma symptoms include:
- Night sweats,
- Lymph node swelling,
- Difficulty breathing,
- Persistent cough,
- Chest pain,
- Unexplained weight loss, and
- Abdominal swelling.
Because symptoms can mimic other diseases, they can contribute to a lymphoma misdiagnosis.
How a Lymphoma Misdiagnosis Occurs
A lymphoma misdiagnosis can occur when a doctor mistakes your symptoms and doesn’t follow up with proper orders for labs and imaging.
A doctor may also fail to get an entire family history that could reveal some high-risk factors, or they may dismiss your symptoms as something less serious.
Other physicians might order less invasive tests that won’t show whether there’s cancer present. If you are younger, a physician might immediately dismiss the chance you have cancer.
If the doctor orders a biopsy, it’s still no guarantee that a doctor will make the correct diagnosis. They might decide it’s something else because they lack the proper training to detect cancers such as lymphoma.
All these mistakes can lead to undiagnosed lymphoma spreading.
For example, it could spread to the lungs, which could be fatal. It differs from lung cancer because metastatic lung cancer, like lymphoma lung cancer, starts in another part of the body and spreads to the lungs through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you are the victim of a lymphoma misdiagnosis that caused you harm, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Poulos & Coates.
We are the only law firm in New Mexico dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice. Let us review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim.
We have a medical doctor and two nurses on staff, so we are well-versed in these types of cases.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help you hold the negligent parties accountable for your injuries and damages.