Ways In Which Medical Malpractice Claim May Result From Delayed Diagnosis of Colon Cancer
Being told one has colon cancer tends to raise dread in most of people. It can thus feel quite good regarding your doctor let you know that you just have hemorrhoids and there is no need to worry about the bloodstream in your stool. But this reassurance ought to not be given until the doctor has ruled out the chance of colon cancer (and other potentially serious gastrointestinal issues). Otherwise, you might not discover that you have colon cancer until it is too late. Should a physician decide without testing assumes that promises of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding by an individual are due to hemorrhoids and it subsequently is discovered that the sufferer had colon cancer all along, that doctor might not have met the standard of care as well as the patient might have a legal claim towards that physician.
Is generally thought that there are currently at least 10 million people with hemorrhoids and another million new cases of hemorrhoids will probably arise this year. Compared, a little more than the 100 thousand new occurrences of colon cancer that will be diagnosed this year. Further, colon cancers do not always. In the event that they do, the bleeding could be intermittent. And based on where the cancer is in the colon, the blood might not even be apparent in the stool. Perhaps it is in part as a result of the difference in the volume of instances being determined that some doctors basically consider that the existence of blood in the stool or anal blood loss is due to hemorrhoids.
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A physician who reaches this conclusion will be proper a lot more than 90% of the time. It seems reasonable, does not it? The problem, however, is that when the physician is incorrect in this diagnosis, the patient may not discover he or she has colon cancer until it has developed to an advanced period, perhaps even to the point where treatment is no longer effective.
Colon cancer is found while still contained within the digestive tract, the person's chances of surviving the cancer are over 80%. The 5 year survival rate is a statistical guage of the percentage of individuals who are still alive a minimum of Several years subsequent in order to prognosis. Treatment protocols for early stage colon cancer generally calls for only surgery so as to take out the cancerous growth and surrounding areas of the colon. Subject to factors such as the stage of the cancer and the patient's medical history (including family medical history), age, and the patient's physical condition, chemotherapy may or may not be required.
This is why doctors generally suggest that a colonoscopy ought to be ordered immediately if someone complains of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy is a procedure whereby a flexible scope with a camera on the end is used to see the interior of the colon. If growths (polyps or tumors) are detected, they can be taken out (if sufficiently small) or sampled and reviewed for the presence of cancer (by biopsy). Providing no cancer is detected during the colonoscopy may colon cancer be ruled out as a cause of the blood.
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But, if the cancer is not discovered until it has spread beyond the digestive tract and has attained the lymph nodes, the patient's five 12 months survival rate will generally be around 53%. Along with surgery in order to remove the tumor and adjacent portions of the colon treatment for this stage of colon cancer calls for chemotherapy in an attempt to get rid of any cancer that might always be left in the body. If the cancer spreads to other organs for example the liver, lungs, or brain, the individuals 5 year survival rate is reduced to near 8%. If treatment options exist with regard to a patient at this stage, they may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other medications. Treatment may or may not still be helpful as soon as the cancer is this advanced. If treatment ceases to be effective, colon cancer is fatal. This year, close to 48,000 individuals will die in the U.S. from colon cancer metastasis.
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As a result of diagnosing problems of blood in the stool or anal bleeding as caused by hemorrhoids while not doing the correct checks to rule out colon cancer, a physician places the patient at risk of not learning he or she has colon cancer until it progresses in order to an advanced, possibly no longer treatable, stage. This might total a departure from the approved standard of medical care and might bring about a medical malpractice claim.
The event that you or a a member of your family were told by a physician that blood in the stool or rectal hemorrhaging were due to merely hemorrhoids, and were subsequently diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer, you need to contact an attorney at once. This article is for basic educational usage only and is not intended to be legal (or medical) advice. For any medical concerns you should talk to physician. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon virtually any information contained herein but ought to rather consult with an attorney. A competent lawyer with experience in medical malpractice might be able to help you determine for those who have a claim for a delay in the diagnosis of the colon cancer. Immediately contact an attorney are there is a time limit in lawsuits like these.
- Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney accepting medical malpractice cases.
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