Understanding The Misdiagnosis of Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that afflicts the body’s lymphatic system. There are two main types of this disease which are referred to as Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (which was previously called Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), and Hodgkin Lymphoma (which was previously called Hodgkin’s disease). Generally speaking, both types of Lymphoma have symptoms that are similar in nature, which often include fatigue, a fever, itchiness that is felt all over the body, difficulty breathing, a loss of appetite, coughing, and frequent or drenching sweating episodes.

One of the symptoms that is often noted in early cases of lymphoma is a swelling of the lymph nodes that are located in the neck, armpit, and groin, that are not painful. It is important to note that these symptoms can also be due to other conditions that are far less serious in nature, so it is not uncommon for the disease to be misdiagnosed in the earliest stages. Medical health professionals need to take the proper steps to make sure a proper diagnosis is made so that they are not negligent in their ruling. This includes carefully ruling out other types of diseases, and not simply making a random assumption that the symptoms are due to something minor.

The lymphatic system is comprised of a series of ducts and tubules that are responsible for carrying a material called lymph to various parts of the body. Lymph is a milky type of fluid that is comprised of lymphocytes. The lymphocytes then combine with monocytes and granulocytes to make white blood cells, which are responsible for helping the body to repair the blood and fight off infections.

The lymph nodes are small organs that are shaped like peas and located within the lymph vessel system. The main job of the lymph nodes is to accumulate and produce lymphocytes. Lymph nodes in groupings can be found in the neck and groin areas, under the arms, in the chest, and in the abdominal area. The spleen, which is found in the upper region of the abdomen, as well as the thymus, which is found under the breastbone, and the thymus are also part of the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes are stored in the lymphoid tissue until they combine with the lymph that flows through the lymph nodes. There are two different types of lymphocytes: T cells, and B cells. Lymphoma can form in either type, however B cell lymphoma is far more common in adults, and T cell lymphoma is more common in children.

T cells and B cells have different jobs with the immune system of the body. When an infection enters the body because of a bacterium, B cells take action and begin making antibodies. These antibodies then attach to the bacterium and inform the other cells in the immune system to attack and kill the infection. T cells help to protect the body from viruses. If a virus enters the cells in the body, the body begins to produce proteins that are sent to the surface of the cells that are infected. T cells can then identify the proteins and produce cytokine which destroys the infected cells. Some cytokines can also be attracted to other types of cells, which further helps to eradicate the cells that are infected with the virus. T cells can also help to eliminate certain types of cancerous cells.

While lymphoma is usually classified as one of the type types that were discussed above, there are actually ten or more forms of lymphomas that are non-Hodgkin. These forms can be staged or categorized by how quickly they are growing or how aggressive they are spreading. The lower the grade, the slower the cancer is growing, while the higher the grade, the more aggressive the cancer.

It is during the earliest stages of this type of cancer when the highest chance for a misdiagnosis is possible. Patients who report the symptoms listed above need to be thoroughly evaluated by means of more blood testing and x-rays. The best way to diagnose the condition is to remove one of the enlarged lymph nodes and examine it in a laboratory under a microscope. Tissue samples and biopsies from other areas of the body can also be quite helpful in order to determine if the disease has spread.

This type of cancer is quite dangerous and can spread at a fairly rapid pace. It is because of this that it is extremely important that a timely and correct diagnosis is made. If a proper diagnosis is delayed for any reason, the results could be catastrophic. More aggressive treatments may be needed, extensive surgeries, and other types of chemotherapy and radiation may be required. In some cases, it may simply be too late once a proper diagnosis is made and the patient may have no chance of survival.

When a proper diagnosis of lymphoma is not made, medical personnel can and should be held accountable. This is a form of negligence and you owe to yourself, your family, as well as other patients to seek justice. The best way to go about this is to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical negligence and malpractice. Because these types of cases can be complex and can be lengthy it is not a good idea to try to file a claim on your own. A personal injury attorney knows the ins and outs of this area of the law and can take proper action to ensure your case progresses properly and has the best chance of success.

Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you will not have to worry about paying anything up front or funding your claim as it progresses through the courts. This will allow you to focus on more important areas of your life, such as your recovery and spending precious time with your family. A personal injury attorney cannot undo the harm you have suffered but he or she can help you to get the justice you deserve so that you can rebuild your life as best as possible.

by Chris N. Jackson


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