New Jersey Leukemia Misdiagnosis Attorneys
Leukemia is a life-threatening blood cancer characterized by the bone marrow that overproduces blood cells and causes poor immunity against infection and disease. A leukemia cell develops abnormally, dividing to reproduce rapidly and then not dying off at a regular rate. When the body cannot fight off infection, it can be fatal because even minor illnesses can cause severe disease. Since the condition worsens when it spreads, an early and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is the best defense to ward off leukemia’s worst effects. For this reason, doctors who see patients with signs and symptoms that may suggest leukemia must diagnose the condition quickly and correctly, and begin treatment soon after. Otherwise, the patient may suffer unnecessarily or die due to misdiagnosed leukemia, worsening complications due to cancer progression, or an improperly treated life-threatening disease like this. If this tragic event occurred in your life or the life of someone you love, the seasoned New Jersey leukemia malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group can assist you with pursuing justice and just compensation.
As a law firm dedicated to medical malpractice litigation in New Jersey, our attorneys have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in this challenging realm of the law. We understand the ramifications of negligence with leukemia and other cancers, as we represent adults and children whose doctors, hospitals, and other providers failed to uphold the standard of care. To discuss your leukemia misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or negligent treatment and receive a free review of your case, contact 973-435-4551 today.
Different Types of Leukemia
According to the American Cancer Society, there are four types of Leukemia: chronic myeloid, acute myeloid, chronic lymphocytic, and acute lymphocytic Leukemia.
When cancer starts in the myeloid cells or develops white and red blood cells or platelets, it is called myeloid Leukemia. When it begins in the budding lymphocyte cells, it is lymphocytic Leukemia. Acute myeloid or lymphocytic Leukemia means the cells produce rapidly before maturing and accumulate quickly. Acute forms of Leukemia need quick treatment, or the patient typically dies. Children, who develop Leukemia more than other cancers, suffer from the acute types of Leukemia. Some types of acute Leukemia are more treatable than chronic forms of the disease.
Chronic myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a genetic disorder that turns blood-producing cells into mass producers of blood cells in the bone marrow, building up in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. It is primarily an adult slow-growing Leukemia, though rarely seen in children. Chronic Leukemia is notable for its overabundance of partially mature cells that fight infection poorly and live longer than healthy cells. They reproduce quicker, pile up in the system, and affect the body’s organs over a long period. The cure rate is lower than in other leukemias.
Testing and Diagnosis of Leukemia
The first way to diagnose a person with Leukemia is by physical examination. A person with Leukemia may appear pale with bruised skin or wounds that bleed for a long time. The examining physician who sees these symptoms may feel the area where the spleen and liver are to check for swelling. Lymph nodes also swell from Leukemia. After detecting these signs, a physician may order blood tests or a bone marrow biopsy.
A blood test reveals high white blood cells or platelets when someone has the disease. Platelets, found in the bone marrow, are responsible for blood clotting. Having too many of them can cause excessive bleeding. A doctor tests the individual’s bone marrow by removing a sample from the hip using a long needle to confirm the diagnosis. What the bone marrow shows determine treatment. Further testing may narrow down the type of Leukemia and the extent of the disease.
These three methods of diagnosis ensure the doctor is following acceptable protocol for diagnosing such a condition or the standard of care expected of a doctor. When a doctor does not diagnose Leukemia because they did not run tests or mistook the signs for something else and did not confirm the diagnosis, they may be liable for malpractice when the person suffers injury.
How Doctors Treat Leukemia
To treat Leukemia, physicians have a range of options, including chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and biological, targeted, and radiation therapies. The most well-known cancer treatment, chemotherapy, uses medications to destroy malignant cells. The form and stage of cancer determine the treatment quantity and method. On the other hand, stem cell transplant does not work to eliminate the bad cells but to bring in new cells to the bone marrow to replace the damaged cells and regenerate healthy cells. In addition, biological therapy trains the person’s immune system to fight the invading cancer cells, while targeted therapy uses chemicals to target specific cell proteins that produce myelogenous Leukemia. And finally, radiation therapy destroys cancer cells with x-ray beams.
Leukemia Misdiagnosis, Failure to Diagnose, and Other Ways Negligence Happens with this Cancer
Blood cancers spread, and treatment success depends on how far cancer reaches in the body. The extent of the spread or if cancer metastasized categorizes the cancer stage as either stage 1, 2, or 3. Treatment varies depending on the stage, patient’s health, age, blood type, and type of Leukemia. Choosing the proper treatment is essential, as cancer is always a race against time.
The proper treatment depends on the correct diagnosis. Since Leukemia may exist in a patient’s body without symptoms appearing, a physician may miss the diagnosis. A proper diagnosis occurs when doctors follow the appropriate protocols of ruling out other diagnoses by examining the person and their family history, accompanied by the right tests. The symptoms also mimic other common illnesses. For example, a physician who sees excessive bleeding in a patient may explore bleeding disorders or autoimmune deficiencies of the white blood cells. Immune thrombocytopenic purpura is one such autoimmune condition identified by the underproduction of platelets.
If you or your loved one received substandard medical care, resulting in untreated or misdiagnosed Leukemia, your physician might be liable for medical malpractice. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages due to a delayed diagnosis or treatment, including medical bills, lost wages, and emotional and physical pain. You or your loved one may need extensive therapies for leukemia that went untreated and spread. However, you may also be able to ease the financial strain of extended treatment and injuries due to a medical professional’s errors or omissions by filing a medical malpractice claim.
Determine if You Have a Leukemia Malpractice Claim in New Jersey
Seeking knowledgeable legal counsel when you or a loved one suffered harm resulting from misdiagnosed or untreated leukemia is extremely important, as there are time limits to file a lawsuit for injuries in New Jersey. Talk to a medical malpractice attorney at Fronzuto Law Group to determine if you can successfully obtain damages for leukemia misdiagnosis or other cancer negligence. Simply call 973-435-4551 or fill out an online form today.