Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis
The following paragraphs explain the basic biological symptoms, hereditary risks and treatments for colon cancer. Although it is extremely important for anyone, especially those with hereditary risks, to undergo a doctor’s examination targeting early cancer symptoms, it is equally important to consult a colon cancer misdiagnosis attorney who specializes in cancer malpractice law if a patient receives an improper or inadequate checkup where existing cancer is not detected. Misdiagnosis can lead to serious complications due to delayed treatment for a patient’s colon cancer.
The colon is an important part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body). Cancer in the colon or rectum can develop over many years and can depend on many risk factors, especially in circumstances where treatment for a patient’s colon cancer is delayed due to negligence. For the purpose of this article, the term colon cancer will include cancer of the rectum. Early diagnosis of colon cancer is critical to achieving the best long term prognosis.
Unfortunately, colon cancer can be misdiagnosed if the risks and symptoms are ignored. Serious injuries can also result if the tests for colon cancer are negligently performed. Again, this is why it is important to stress that patients who have received misdiagnosis regarding colon cancer should consult an attorney immediately, preferably one who is experienced in the law of cancer malpractice.
Risk factors for colon cancer include being 50 years old or older, having a family history of cancer of the colon or rectum, having a personal history of cancer (colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium, or breast), having a history of polyps in the colon, having a history of ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) or Crohn’s disease, or having certain hereditary conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome).
Early diagnosis and treatment for any type of cancer is critical for achieving the best possible result. For example, the difference in surgical options can be significant for patients with early diagnosis of colon cancer as opposed to those who experience a delay in colon cancer treatment. Early diagnosis may mean a less invasive laparoscopic surgery. More advanced disease may require an open abdominal procedure. During open surgeries, surgeons open the abdomen with a six-to-eight-inch incision and then cut away the portion of the colon containing cancer. However, in a laparoscopically assisted colectomy, the same procedure is performed through three one-half-inch incisions and one two-inch incision. Levy Konsiberg law firm has been involved in many cases where attorneys have proven that misdiagnosis of colon cancer and its subsequent delayed treatment for malignant colon cancer can have devastating effects on the patient. It should be noted that studies show that while laparoscopic surgery is safe and effective for treatment of colon cancer, it should not be used for patients whose cancer requires extensive surgery to other organs besides the colon.
Thus, a delay in diagnosis of colon cancer can lead to delayed treatment for colon cancer which then can result in the spread of the cancer to other organs and render the patient an unsuitable candidate for less invasive laparoscopic surgery. Such patients will face greater risks associated with open colon surgery, including risk of excessive bleeding and prolonged healing time.
In addition, more advanced disease means a greater chance the cancer has spread (metastasized) to distant organs, such as the lung or brain. This will likely mean additional surgeries, more chemotherapy and/or radiation after surgery, and a greater risk of recurrence of the cancer later on.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with colon cancer or rectal cancer that you believe should have been diagnosed sooner or has colon cancer that was misdiagnosed, call attorneys Levy Konigsberg. Our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers specializes in cancer malpractice law and can determine if you are entitled to compensation for the delay in diagnosis, including pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses.
ATTENTION: If you believe that you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you should seek legal advice of experienced medical malpractice attorneys to determine if you have a case. For a free consultation with the medical malpractice lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP please call our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 orsubmit an email inquiry.
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