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Avoiding the misdiagnosis of immunotherapy side effects

Immunotherapy is a developing form of cancer treatment, the purpose of which is to enable the body’s immune system to fight off cancer cells on its own. While its side effects are milder than those of chemotherapy, its effectiveness seems to be limited. A small percentage of immunotherapy patients in Florida and across the U.S. even wind up suffering from severe health conditions.

Common side effects include flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dry mouth, aches and pains, and a rash where the immunotherapy drug was injected. They can be the result of an allergy to the drug, or they could be the result of something rarer but also much worse: the immune system attacking healthy cells. Ideally, if doctors correctly diagnose the condition, they can provide corticosteroids or other drugs that bring the immune system under control.

However, these side effects can easily be misdiagnosed. This is especially true for patients who undergo immunotherapy for mesothelioma since the treatment for this particular cancer is still in the experimental stage. Delayed treatment could lead to permanent tissue damage and even death. To avoid a misdiagnosis, patients should tell their oncologists about every symptom they experience no matter how unconnected it may seem to the cancer. When meeting with other medical specialists, patients should clearly state that they had immunotherapy done.

If they take all the right precautions and still become the victims of a misdiagnosis, they may have the grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit To prove that there was malpractice, victims will want to have legal assistance. A lawyer can show that there was a doctor-patient relationship and that the patient was harmed. The opinion testimony of one or medical experts can be used to demonstrate that the error constituted a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care.

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