The words “tumor” and “cancerous” are not terms anyone wants to hear after a medical examination. But for many, those words have become a reality, a living nightmare which is filled with painful treatments and increasing weakness. Even if you are successfully treated for cancer and experience complete remission, the time you spend fighting it can leave you extremely weak and debilitated, and unable to perform any kind of work. The Social Security Disability programs area necessary provision at some point of the struggle for most who are diagnosed with life threatening diseases.
Before the SSA’s establishment of Compassionate Allowances in 2008, it was difficult even for cancer patients, whose condition is extremely life threatening, to receive a positive SSDI determination within a timely manner. Now many types of cancer and related diseases are listed as Compassionate Allowances, or conditions which are automatically qualifying for disability. This provision has succeeded in speeding up the determination process for disability benefits from several months down to a few weeks, bringing relief to those who battle serious diseases such as multicentric Castleman’s disease.
Multicentric Castleman’s Disease – Conditions & Symptoms
Multicentric Castleman’s disease is classified as a rare lymphoproliferative disorder, a disorder caused from the body’s excess production of B lymphocytes, resulting in swollen or tumorous lymph nodes, glands, or organs. Although Castleman’s disease is a benign or non-cancerous type of lymphoproliferative disorder, it still reacts similarly to lymphoma and is extremely life threatening if not treated aggressively. About 20% of MCD cases eventually lead to full-blown lymphoma.
Multicentric Castleman’s disease, as opposed to unicentric, occurs when more than one lymph node or location of lymphatic tissue is affected. Castleman’s disease is most prevalent in those who are also infected with the HIV virus, human herpes virus (HHV-8), or who have developed Kaposi sarcoma, a type of cancer. The multicentric form of Castleman’s disease is most likely to occur in men from ages 30 to 50, whereas the unicentric form may appear even in children.
The list of the symptoms of MCD is long and painful: swollen or tumorous lymph nodes, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, fever, night sweats, fatigue due to anemia, and numbness in the extremities. Imaging devices will also indicate an enlarged spleen or liver and blood tests will reveal an increased presence of B-lymphocytes. Because MCD weakens the immune system, its victims are also prone to suffer from infections and illnesses which would otherwise pose little threat to a healthy immune system. The immune system is threatened that much more in those who are already HIV positive and other immune deficiency disorders.
Researchers are still unsure of what causes multicentric Castleman’s disease. There is no cure for MCD and the prognosis is often grim. While cancer treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are used and sometimes successful in fighting MCD, treatment for those with MCD who are also HIV-positive will most likely relate to their immunodeficiency disorder. Unfortunately, symptomatic suppression and pain relief are often the only reprieve for severe cases of MCD.
Filing for Social Security Disablity with a Multicentric Castleman’s Disease Diagnosis
The most recent updates to the list of the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances listings include multicentric Castleman’s disease, recognizing it as rare but extremely life threatening and its sufferers deserving of priority case processing.
The key to receiving a Compassionate Allowance review is to ensure your medical diagnosis is accurate, as described in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance listings. A Castleman’s disease diagnosis is established with the assistance of lymphatic growth biopsies, surgery, x-rays, CT scans, and other imaging devices.
Due to its severe nature, multicentric Castleman’s is distinguished from unicentric Castleman’s as qualifying for a Compassionate Allowance. If you have only unicentric Castleman’s, you will not be considered for a Compassionate Allowance. Your case will be processed the same way as other diseases on the SSA’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments.
Your Multicentric Castleman’s Disease Disability Case
As researchers continue to race for a cure for cancer and many other incurable diseases such as AIDS or multicentric Castleman’s disease, millions of lives continue to suffer, in desperate need of help to meet their basic needs while unable to perform every day activities. If you qualify for the SSDI program and are thinking of applying for disability benefits, a multicentric Castleman’s disease diagnosis should qualify you for a Compassionate Allowance.
Just as a life-threatening disease should not be faced alone, but with the support of friends and family, neither should your disability case. To ensure you are qualified based on your diagnosis and medical records, and to speed the process of your Compassionate Allowance, the assistance of a Social Security Disability attorney is highly recommended. These professionals have experience in helping applicants receive the maximum possible payout for their condition and situation to guarantee your present stability, quality medical care, and future security.