Cancer is a scary disease and being diagnosed with it has life-altering implications. Lymphoma is one type of cancer that, while potentially very deadly, varies in its severity. This variance comes because there are various forms of the disease. At any given time there are over 500,000 people battling lymphoma in the U.S. WIth the appropriate level of care, many of these patients will be able to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Unfortunately, this all depends upon a timely diagnosis from their doctors and this doesn’t always happen.
Lymphoma is a cancer that appears in the blood and as an effect on the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system, which means lymphoma can be difficult to treat, especially if a delayed diagnosis allowed the cancer to spread further. This is especially devastating because many kinds of lymphoma have very high survival rates with timely diagnosis.
If a doctor failed to diagnose the lymphoma of you or a loved one, or if their diagnosis was needlessly delayed, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as financial costs.
What is Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, the immune system’s disease fighting cells. Impacted cells, found in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, and other areas of the body, grow out of control and can spread to the disease throughout the body.
There are two main forms of lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma, also called Hodgkin’s disease, is generally easier to detect because the symptoms are normally unique enough to easily rule out other conditions. People who have Hodgkin lymphoma have cells present in the tissue impacted by Hodkin’s disease called Reed-Sternberg cells. This makes this form of the disease easier to diagnose and, thankfully, this form of the disease has a relatively high recovery rate.
The other type of lymphoma is a non-Hodgkin form that is much more dangerous. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects the white blood cells and causes them to mutate. These mutated cells divide rapidly and spread throughout the body. When the white blood cells reach the lymphatic system they can cause rapid damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Lymphoma?
Lymphoma presents with a number of symptoms. Common lymphoma symptoms include:
- Breathing trouble
- Night sweats
- Sudden weight loss.
There are a number of tests that doctors can use to diagnose lymphoma. The first step they can take when they suspect lymphoma is to order a biopsy. So, they may order a needle biopsy of a swollen lymph node in order to find cancer cells, for example. Biopsy is vital to diagnosing non-Hodgkin lymphoma because it is the only way to get a sure diagnosis.
A number of different tests can be used to diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma, as it can be detected by blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, and others that allow the doctors to scan for Reed-Sternberg cells.
Effect of Delayed Diagnosis
A timely diagnosis is one of the most important factors that impact their health outcomes. It’s also vital that doctors give an accurate diagnosis because cancer can vary from either very treatable to deadly depending on the type of lymphoma. Unfortunately, doctors are susceptible to the same flaws and carelessness that we all are, except their mistakes can cost lives.
It’s all too common for doctors to neglect a lymphoma diagnosis because a patient doesn’t fit into their narrow criteria of age or other demographic.
Philadelphia Failure to Diagnosis Lawyer
There are personal injury laws that exist to help families who’ve suffered from the failures of healthcare providers. If you or a loved one have suffered because of a failure to diagnose lymphoma, you should contact an expert lawyer as soon as possible. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial harm your family has suffered.
With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.