Could Cancer Be Misdiagnosed as a Food Allergy?

medical malpractice clientRecently, a 35-year-old school teacher lost her life after her cancer was misdiagnosed as a food allergy during her initial doctor’s visit, leading to a five-month delay in treatment.

How the Cancer Misdiagnosis Delayed Her Treatment

According to The Daily Mirror, the woman battled renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which is a form of kidney cancer, for seven months before succumbing to the disease. She had first gone to the doctor in September of 2015, because she was experiencing severe stomach pains. Her physician diagnosed her with a food allergy and told her to cut bread and a few other foods from her diet. However, not only did her stomach pain not go away after that, but it got worse. In fact, by December, she had started experiencing back pain as well.

The 35-year-old teacher is survived by her parents, who say it wasn’t until their daughter had a private body scan in February of 2016 that she found out that she was suffering from cancer, not a food allergy. Following her cancer diagnosis, the woman began treatment, including chemotherapy. However, despite treatment, the disease spread from her kidney into her brain and lungs. In addition, she still had to deal with crippling stomach pain, especially after each meal, and had to undergo surgery for a collapsed lung she suffered due to the cancer spreading.

Why It’s Important to Catch Kidney Cancer Early

RCC often begins as a tumor in one of a person’s kidneys. In its early stages, some of the symptoms of the disease can be difficult to detect, including:

  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Lower back pain
  • Blood in urine
  • Lump on stomach/abdomen, side or lower back

Many of the symptoms of RCC don’t fully surface until the disease has spread from the kidney. This is a huge problem, because patients have the best chance to survive RCC if it’s caught early. If the cancer isn’t found before it spreads from the kidney, in many cases, all that treatment is good for at that point is easing a patient’s suffering. Before her death, the school teacher asked her parents to spread the word about misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, so that hopefully others can avoid suffering the same fate as her.

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