How is colon cancer detected?
A colonoscopy is the primary test used to screen for the cancer. Other tests which your doctor may use to look for colon cancer include the fecal occult blood test, fecal immunochemical test, and a visual inspection of the rectum with a sigmoidoscopy.
How does colon cancer go undiagnosed?
Errors commonly leading to colon cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to recognize and address common symptoms of colon cancer
- Failure to address family history of colon cancer
- Failing to recommend colonoscopy
- Mistakes in the performance of colonoscopy
- Failing to work up low red blood cell counts that are persistent
Who should be tested for colon cancer?
Everyone 50 years old and older should have regular colonoscopies. If you have a family history which indicates an elevated risk for colon cancer you should begin screening at 21 having a colonoscopy every year or two.
How much difference does early detection really make?
According to the National Cancer Institute, five year survival rates are better than 90% when the cancer is detected early, but drops to less than 10% in patients where the cancer has spread to other organs or tissue elsewhere in the body.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Rectal bleeding is the most common symptom of colon cancer. Other symptoms include:
- Defecating less frequently
- Narrow stools
- Weight loss
- Cramping and bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in stool
- A false feeling of the need to defecate
What is the treatment for colon cancer?
Surgery is almost always involved, but when the cancer is detected early a minimally invasive surgery can remove it. As the cancer progresses and grows it can require surgery that removes part of the colon, sometimes so much of the colon that a colostomy bag is required. Advanced colon cancer can also require chemotherapy and/or radiation.
What can I do if I am the victim of failure to diagnose colon cancer?
Talk to a dedicated medical malpractice attorney who has experience specifically with failure to diagnose colon cancer. Cancer misdiagnosis cases are complicated and require special medical knowledge.
I have lost a loved one to misdiagnosed colon cancer. Do I still have a case?
If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice you may still be entitled to compensation under wrongful death.
New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer Michael L. Weiss, Esq. has tried several failure to diagnose colon cancer lawsuits to a jury and has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of medical malpractice victims and their families. If you believe you or a loved one may have experienced such an injury, please contact Weiss & Paarz, P.C., today.