Last Updated on May 17, 2024

Can I Sue If I've Been Diagnosed with Lymphoma Late?

A delayed diagnosis of Lymphoma caused by negligent healthcare providers/facilities warrants a medical malpractice claim. Delayed cancer diagnosis occurs when cancer is not identified on time, often due to missed or misinterpreted symptoms. This allows the disease to advance to more advanced stages – jeopardizing the health and well-being of affected patients. 

Lymphoma has 2 main types. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the more common type that accounts for about 90% of all expected cases for 2024. It has over 60 sub-types, with variable prognoses. This type of lymphoma could spread randomly. Hodgkin Lymphoma, on the other hand, is a relatively rare type of lymphoma. It spreads in an orderly fashion and generally offers better prognosis. 

By 2024, about 89,190 new cases of lymphoma are expected in the US.

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Establishing a Claim for Lymphoma Misdiagnosis

Research has found that many misdiagnosed cancer incidents stem from errors made by negligent primary care providers. Some of the more common errors committed by primary doctors include:

  • Misinterpretation of test results
  • Failure to order proper screening tests
  • Failure to provide referrals to specialists

However, it is important to understand that various personal and systemic factors contribute to delayed cancer diagnosis – in this case, lymphoma. For this reason, an initial investigation is required to establish a claim. Medical malpractice experts typically work with trusted medical consultants for this.

During said investigation, your legal team would aim to establish the following elements:

Duty of Care – Was there an appropriate doctor-patient relationship?
Breach of Duty – Did your doctor perform poorly/negligently based on accepted standards of care?
Causation – Did your doctor’s actions/inactions directly cause you harm?
Damages – What did these errors cost you?

Once these elements have been pinpointed and established, only then can your legal team proceed with filing a claim. All economic and non-economic losses are accounted for in a medical malpractice claim (actual figures provided below). 

What Disease Can Mimic Lymphoma?

With insufficient attention to detail, negligent healthcare providers could easily attribute Lymphoma symptoms to less severe conditions. Some of the conditions that mimic lymphoma include:

  1. Viral/bacterial/parasitic Infections
  2. Systematic Lupus Erythematosus
  3. Sarcoidosis
  4. Lipomas
  5. Castleman Disease
  6. Rosai-Dorfman Disease

Like most other cancers, symptoms of lymphoma can be vague and non-exclusive. Symptoms that present themselves depend on the type of lymphoma a patient has. Below are some symptoms that may indicate lymphoma.

For Non-Hodgkin LymphomaFor Hodgkin Lymphoma
– Enlarged lymph nodes
– Fever and chills
– Weight loss
– Fatigue 
– Swollen abdomen
– Feeling full after only a small amount of food
– Chest pain or pressure
– Shortness of breath or cough
– Severe or frequent infections
– Easy bruising or bleeding
– Lump/s under the skin
– Fever
– Night sweats
– Sudden weight loss
– Itching skin
– Fatigue
– Loss of appetite

Lymphoma Survival Rates

Lymphoma is a highly treatable disease especially when detected early. Naturally, survival rates go down when the disease is detected later. According to the National Cancer Institute, the per-stage survival rates for lymphoma are:

STAGE5-Year Relative Survival Rate
Stage 187%92%
Stage 279%95%
Stage 374%87%
Stage 464%81%

While this type of cancer presents fairly positive prognoses, it is still important for patients to get diagnosed as early as possible. 

Treatment Options and Annual Spending

Treatments for Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma depend on the specific type of the disease, as well as the current stage it is in. Conventionally speaking, treatments for lymphoma may include one or more of the following:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Drug Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgery
  • High-dose Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplant

More advanced stages of lymphoma may require more aggressive complementary treatments – potentially demanding higher medical expenses.

According to recent reports, US cancer patients would spend upwards of $200 billion on medical treatments starting 2020. When estimating per-patient medical expenses, the National Cancer Institute acknowledges three distinct phases – initial care, continuing care, and end-of-life care

Considering both of its main types, the average annual medical expenses of patients with lymphoma are as follows:

Medical ServicesPrescription Drugs
Initial Care (1st year after diagnosis)$75,268$2,186
Continuing Care (time in between)$11,295
per year
per year
End-of-Life Care (last year before passing away)$136,847$2,603

All medical expenses (past and future) are considered in a medical malpractice claim. Apart from medical expenses, other economic and non-economic losses are also factored in. Lost income, emotional trauma, and decreased quality of life are some of the more common considerations. For actual compensation figures, please refer to our previous wins.

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

At the Porter Law Group, our team of proven medical malpractice lawyers delivers ideal results. We take pride in helping families rebuild after unfavorable circumstances. We operate on a contingency basis – meaning you do not need to pay us anything unless we win your case. Through this approach, we can better support families during their times of need.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, please reach out to us for a non-obligatory free case evaluation. You can also contact us at 833-PORTER9 or to schedule a consultation.

Written By
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
Legally Reviewed on May 17, 2024
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Eric C. Nordby on May 17, 2024. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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