Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary experience. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that occurs in the blood and impacts your lymphatic system, which plays an important role in regulating the body’s immune system. This is why lymphoma can be difficult to treat, particularly after it has spread and worsened due to delayed treatment.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 731,000 people in the United States either have lymphoma or are in remission. While some kinds of lymphoma have high rates of success in treatment, other forms of the disease are more deadly.
There are two primary types of lymphoma, according to the American Cancer Society.
Hodgkin lymphoma, also called Hodgkin’s disease, is usually easier for doctors to detect, as it presents unique symptoms that differentiate it from other health conditions. Tissues with Hodgkin’s disease contain distinctive, enlarged cells, which are known as Reed-Sternberg cells. It also has a high cure rate relative to other forms.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, on the other hand, is far deadlier than Hodgkin lymphoma. When a patient develops non-Hodgkin lymphoma, their white blood cells start to mutate. The mutated cells continue to divide and multiply and eventually spread throughout the body and the lymphatic system, causing widespread damage.
Symptoms of lymphoma can mimic those that frequently appear in other diseases, including night sweats, fever, difficulty breathing, unexplained weight loss, tiredness, swelling in the lymph nodes, chest pain, a persistent cough, and pain or swelling in the abdominal area.
Doctors can use a variety of tests to diagnose lymphoma. When they suspect a patient may have lymphoma, they should order a biopsy, as it is the only definitive method for obtaining a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis.
While a biopsy can also reveal Hodgkin lymphoma, more options are available for its diagnosis. Doctors may be able to detect the Hodgkin’s disease by conducting blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays. These tests can allow doctors to scan for the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in a patient’s blood, bone marrow, or other parts of the body. =
A prompt diagnosis is important to improve a patient’s chances of beating lymphoma and making a full recovery. Doctors should never dismiss a patient as being “too young” or not within the correct demographic to have lymphoma. These types of mistakes can prevent a patient from getting the life-saving treatment they need to make a full recovery.
If your doctor failed to diagnose your lymphoma, or you experienced a delay in treatment due to a missed diagnosis, you may be able to collect compensation for your damages.
If you have been the victim of a missed diagnosis for lymphoma, you may be able to obtain money damages for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. It’s important to discuss your case with a medical malpractice lawyer.
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