Woman Misdiagnosed With Sciatica Had Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

A young woman from Sydney, Australia was turned away by four different doctors and misdiagnosed with sciatica before she was finally correctly diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

MORE: Ten common emotional responses to a cancer diagnosis. 

By the time doctors discovered the true source of her symptoms, the disease had progressed to stage 4 and the cancer had spread to her lungs, chest and stomach.

According to the Daily Mail, Daniella Laura Rizzo began experiencing extreme fatigue and severe pain in her hips in October 2016. Because her job involved standing for long periods of time, her doctor dismissed the symptoms, saying it was because her hips were swollen. As the symptoms persisted, she saw another doctor who ordered blood tests.

The blood tests revealed that Daniella had a high white blood cell count but the doctor didn’t follow up with any further tests, so she decided to see a specialist who diagnosed her with sciatica. It was only after a lump appeared on her collarbone that she was sent for more tests.

When she was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, doctors believed she’d probably been living with the disease for a year and a half. Daniella is now undergoing treatment for the disease.

MORE: Lymphoma survivor records her battle with daily photographs.

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4 comments

    • Tim Bossie says:

      True. The more we read comments on our FB page and other social media, the more common it seems to be.

  1. Barbara Capalupo says:

    My husband was also misdiagnosed. He had intense itching all over his body and the doctors would just give him all kinds of cream and prednisone tablets. His lymphoma was discovered when he went to give blood and they denied him because his hemoglobin was way too low and they advised him to go see a doctor. That led to all kinds of blood work and scans which finally led to Marginal Zone non-Hodgkin b-cell lymphoma. I am so grateful to the Red Cross for finding this and saving his life!

    • Dianne Roncal, DMD says:

      We are happy that despite the misdiagnosis, you are still very positive. 🙂 Hope everything goes well for him.

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