Cancer misdiagnosis costs teen his arm, but he keeps on fighting

Doctors undergo years of training in order to make sound decisions based on their medical observations. Yet when medical professionals don’t exercise enough caution, they can overlook critical details and lifelong consequences can follow. Many North Carolina families have had to deal with the pain and costs of a failure to diagnose a serious medical condition.

One teenager found out the consequences of misdiagnosis in dramatic fashion. After his elbow was feeling very sore, the 17 year old went with his mother to get it checked out. Initially, doctors thought the boy had a benign tumor that would require a minor surgery to remove. However, doctors found out that the boy had aggressive cancer that required his arm, all the way up to the shoulder, to be amputated.

Eight years before the amputation, doctors examined the lump on the boy’s arm (which had been there for years) and determined that it was nothing to be concerned about. There is a chance that more thorough investigation years earlier would have prevented this major surgery and cancer treatment.

Despite this major upheaval in his life, the boy remains in very good spirits. He still plays on his high school volleyball team and is an active member of his student body. As he continues to undergo treatment for cancer, the teen stays optimistic and is looking to beat the illness.

Even though he continues to fight the cancer and make the best of an unfortunate circumstance, something possibly could have prevented the current circumstance. Any number of reasons could explain why the cancer hadn’t been diagnosed much earlier, so it may be worth looking into what exactly led to the ongoing situation.

Source: The New York Post, “Cancer fight, loss of arm, chemotherapy – nothing can keep down Fort Hamilton v’ball player,” Don Burke, March 31, 2013

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