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Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer

The fact is no one should ever die from colorectal cancer. There are over 130,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the United States each year, and over 50,000 deaths. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. According to the National Institutes of Health in almost all cases, colon cancer is entirely treatable if caught early by colonoscopy. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colon cancer, we hope it is early in the disease, with the best chance for a cure. Our colon cancer lawyers are here to answer any questions you may have.

We hold health care professionals accountable if they do not recommend colonoscopy, which improves screening rates and prevents the next person from dying unnecessarily. Everyone over the age of 50 needs to have a colonoscopy.  It is your physician’s obligation to make sure this test is offered and gets done. It is not enough for your doctor to get a flexible sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, or a fecal occult blood card.

Cases of medical malpractice regarding colon cancer most often center on health care professionals who fail to properly investigate a patient’s complaints of rectal bleeding, and who do not initiate further testing or a colonoscopy for those at risk. Some case focus on the gastroenterologist failure to see a cancer during the colonoscopy. In research published recently, the rate of colon cancers in people who had had a colonoscopy within the previous five years was ten times higher when the doctors who did the colonoscopy had a detection rate of ten percent or less, compared to doctors who had a detection rate of twenty percent or more. There are written guidelines for gastrointestinal doctors about how to do an adequate colon exam. It is estimated that the doctors with the lowest detection rates are missing 75 to 90 percent of precancerous growths in the colon. In other words doctors who do not see colon cancer very often during their colonoscopies tend to miss cancers at a much higher rate. Health care professionals should be taking every precaution to initiate medical testing and accurately diagnose this type of cancer in the very early stages; failure to do so is medical malpractice.

If you believe you or a family member has been seriously injured from medical malpractice, medical error, or neglect by a doctor, hospital, nurse, clinic, nursing home or other health care provider, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys for a free evaluation of your case.