On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Failure to Diagnose on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

With as many outdoor activities that Texas has to offer, it’s unlikely that residents are unaware of what Lyme disease is and how serious it can be. However, whether it can even be a chronic infection is hotly debated. This argument may stem those who have had a delayed diagnosis of a more serious condition due to healthcare providers mistakenly assuming that Lyme disease was the cause of their problems.

One 65-year-old man continued to suffer the ill effects of what appeared to be chronic Lyme disease for over seven months. Despite multiple antibiotic treatments, his condition didn’t seem to be improving. When he sought a second opinion, he was told that his symptoms weren’t from Lyme disease, but from a much more serious condition — lung cancer.

His is not the only case of a cancer hidden by a Lyme disease diagnosis. A man living in an area where Lyme disease is relatively rare was told that he had the disease, only to later find out that he had lymphoma. By the time he was diagnosed, the cancer had already progressed to stage 4.

Cancer patients aren’t the only ones receiving a delayed diagnosis because of some doctor’s belief that Lyme disease can be chronic, lasting for years. Researchers note that patients suffering from conditions like multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have also been mistakenly diagnosed with Lyme disease. Unfortunately, when dealing with a serious disease or illness, any delay in a diagnosis can eat away at precious time needed for treatment. When a Texas patient later discovers that his or her disease has worsened or progressed, requiring more intense or time-consuming medical treatments, it may be possible to seek compensation for those related medical bills and other financial losses by successfully navigating the litigation of a medical malpractice claim.

Source: necir.org, “Study finds cancer diagnoses delayed because of chronic Lyme misdiagnosis”, Beth Daley, Nov. 3, 2014