Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Polycythemia Vera . . . Misdiagnosis

Posted In: Medical Errors 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 3, 2008
  • 09:27 PM

Six years ago, my dad who was always very healthy, was diagnosed with polycythemia vera. Unfortunately, he didn't mention this to anyone in my family. His hematologist put him on Hydrea, which he took for about a year, before being hospitalized for some side effects related to the Hydrea. It was during this hospitalization, that doctors discovered he had a large cancerous tumor in his right kidney. After doing extensive reading following his kidney cancer diagnosis and my learning that he had polycythemia for the past year, I learned that polycythemia can be a a secondary problem to a primary illness, that being a kidney or brain tumor. Since kidney cancer is quite often a silent cancer, until it is advanced, I only wish the doctor my dad was treating with at the time he was diagnosied with polycythemia, would have requested a scan of his kidneys to rule out a potential problem. Sure enough, he was rediagnosed with secondary polycythemia, as the primary problem was kidney cancer. It may be a cautious move for anyone who is told they have primary polycythemia to inquire about checking for kidney tumor.

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