Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and women. It is also highly preventable and treatable when diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, colon cancer is often undiagnosed until after it has grown and potentially spread to other areas of the body. Consequences of this failure to diagnose colon cancer in a timely manner can have severe complications, including death.
Reasons for Failed Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer
In a low percentage of cases, colon cancer – or colorectal cancer – remains undiagnosed at early stages due to poor preparation for a colonoscopy on the part of the patient. In most cases, however, it is the medical team who misses the early signs. This failure can occur for numerous reasons, including:
- Failure to perform a full colonoscopy
- Failure to correctly read the results
- Failure to perform a proper biopsy
- Failure to follow up with patients who experience incomplete colonoscopies
As you can see, a misstep at any point in the colonoscopy process can lead to the failure to detect colon cancer while in its early stages. Such a failure can lead to an average six months’ delay in receiving treatment. This is why it is crucial for you to stay diligent about your own health and to make sure your family doctor and gastroenterologist take your concerns seriously.
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Recognize the Early Signs of Colon Cancer
One of the best things you can do to ensure you catch colon cancer before it takes over your body is to become familiar with its early signs and symptoms. According to the National Cancer Institute, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Having constipation or diarrhea
- Feeling that you are not completely emptying your bowels
- Losing weight for unknown reasons
- Finding blood in your stool
- Feeling really tired most or all of the time
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Having frequent gas pains or cramps
Take Action If You Think Your Doctor Ignored Your Cancer Concerns
If you find yourself suffering from any changes in your bowel habits, such as the ones above, speak to your doctor immediately. If you had already presented the above signs and symptoms to your doctor that you feel your doctor ignored, and you have since received a diagnosis of colon cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer who can help you do the research you need to determine if you have any legal remedies available to you.
Contact us at (847) 869-9100 to make arrangements to discuss your case with our attorney today.