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Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine (colon), which is located at the bottom of the digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the colon’s last six inches. They are referred to collectively as colorectal cancers. Nearly 150,000 men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States each year. Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, can affect both men and women and is the second most lethal type of cancer in the United States. Colon cancer is treatable with proper screening and diagnosis. It is even preventable in many cases.

Unfortunately, many patients suffer as a result of a doctor’s negligence. Cancer is sometimes diagnosed too late, which can result in a much worse prognosis. If you believe you have been harmed as a result of a failure to diagnose colon cancer, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for a free case evaluation. Our experienced cancer malpractice attorneys may be able to assist patients in seeking accountability and fair compensation for colon cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. We have offices in several convenient locations throughout Upstate New York. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the outcomes we have obtained for our clients.

Colon cancer frequently begins as a small, noncancerous group of cells known as polyps. These cells develop within the colon. These polyps can become cancerous over time. Because the polyps are small, they do not cause many symptoms. Most doctors recommend annual cancer screenings to detect and remove polyps before they develop into cancer. The removal of a polyp before it becomes malignant prevents the polyp from developing into colorectal cancer. This is why procedures like colonoscopy can help prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, colonoscopy allows colorectal cancer to be detected early before it has spread to other organs or tissue in the body. The difference in outcome is significant. The National Cancer Institute reports five-year survival rates of more than 90% when cancer is detected before it spreads and, tragically, less than 10% when cancer is detected after it has spread.

Beginning at the age of 50, all men and women should be offered annual colon cancer screenings. Men and women at higher risk, such as those with a family history of colorectal cancer, should begin getting annual colon cancer screenings at a younger age. A doctor is responsible for recommending testing for anyone who exhibits symptoms suggestive of colorectal cancer. Early detection of colorectal cancer can save a person’s life.

Colorectal cancer delayed damage causes the following types of harm:

  • Cancer that is incurable
  • Extensive physical pain
  • Complete or partial bowel function loss
  • Colon and other organs are removed.
  • More invasive, aggressive, and painful treatment
  • Significantly more expensive treatment
  • Significantly longer recovery time
  • Wage loss
  • Permanent or long-term disability

Many tests are available in the medical field for doctors to use as early-detection methods for colon cancer. However, these critical tests are not always ordered for the patient, even if they are experiencing cancer symptoms. The doctor failed to provide adequate care in many cases of colon cancer malpractice, dismissing symptoms as common digestive complaints. When a doctor fails to accurately diagnose a patient, it can cause a delay in receiving critical treatments. Your medical provider may be negligent in several ways, including failing to order screening tests for those in high-risk groups for colon cancer, such as colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, guaiac analysis, or fecal occult assessment, failing to review and assess the patient’s complete medical history, failing to aggressively monitor patients with preexisting conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, and failing to connect the symptoms between anemia, bloody stools.  Early detection is critical for those suffering from colon cancer. Delayed treatment or a misdiagnosis can result in additional medical complications for the patient, such as the removal of the colon and the use of a colostomy bag for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, any delay in diagnosis can result in more aggressive treatments, such as the need for radical chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

If you were the victim of a delayed or missed cancer diagnosis, you may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are expenses that are actual and measurable, such as lost wages, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and ongoing healthcare costs. Non-economic damages cover non-tangible costs such as physical pain, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.

If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life due to what you suspect may have been a failure to diagnose colon cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano are highly experienced and have the tools and know-how to investigate your case to determine whether the medical team committed medical malpractice, and how to prove such a claim in a court of law. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Oswego, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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