Finding out you have a serious illness that could be deadly is one of the worst things any New York resident could ever experience. A late diagnosis of multiple myeloma can have dire consequences.
What is multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma within white blood cells, preventing the body from fighting off infections. However, depending on the circumstances, treatment for this disease is not always immediately necessary. In some cases, the cancer is slow-growing, which might require close monitoring for the time being instead.
Why is multiple myeloma commonly diagnosed late?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that’s known to be difficult to diagnose. Sadly, those with the disease have only a 54% chance of surviving over five years. When diagnosed early, the person has a better chance of survival. However, if multiple myeloma is diagnosed late, it means the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body, lowering the odds of surviving more than five years later.
Black Americans are more likely to develop this type of cancer. Unfortunately, this also means they have the lowest rates of survival.
Often, the disease is accidentally diagnosed when the individual is having a blood test done for a different medical condition. Doctors can also diagnose it if a person’s symptoms are similar to those of multiple myeloma.
A delayed diagnosis can occur due to two conditions not being screened by doctors. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma or SMM are more common in Black individuals, which increases the risk of developing multiple myeloma. Both conditions are considered precancerous. A late diagnosis can be deadly, which could warrant the victim filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Early diagnosis of any blood cancer is the best way to have better survival rates. Sometimes, holding the doctor accountable is necessary.