Lymphoma Misdiagnosis Story

      Diagnosis of a disease is very vital so as to determine the best treatment regime for the condition. Misdiagnosis might result in avoiding treatment for a serious medical complication.

       Hence, it is very important to validate the accuracy of a diagnosis through different approaches including doing a detailed research about the condition, seeking second opinion, consulting specialists and going for further diagnostic tests.

      Misdiagnosis of a medical condition occurs mainly due to erroneous data given by doctors, specialists, laboratory tests and even by patients. Misdiagnosis could be of varied types such as a totally wrong diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, missing the actual disease or any other underlying complication, missing related diseases and wrong assessment of symptoms. Many times patients also play their part in a misdiagnosis by not visiting the doctor for seeking medical advice.

      Misdiagnosis could often lead to fatal conditions. This is best described in the story of Melissa Leigh Sutton. Melissa, aged 24, was diagnosed of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When Melissa was initially suffering from fever and other sickness, physicians considered them as symptoms of flu and other allergies. However, alarm bells rang when Melissa started losing weight drastically, following by itching, fever and night sweats. However, doctors still considered it as side effects due to antibiotics and other drugs. As the symptoms turned worse, Melissa was admitted into Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia, where her condition was diagnosed using a chest X-ray and a CT scan. The lymphoma was confirmed through a biopsy analysis.

     Dr. McCormick diagnosed the disease as nodular sclerosis type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Melissa was treated with ABVD regimen of chemotherapy which was followed up with radiation therapy. The disease relapsed for one year during which chemotherapy continued. However, the lymphoma resurfaced again. Bone marrow transplantation of Melissa was done at the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital. Misdiagnosis of Melissa’s situation led to a more aggressive treatment regimen for her.

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