Not Following The Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines May Delay Diagnosis And Lead To Lawsuit
The second largest number of cancer deaths is from colon cancer. Each year, roughly 48,000 men and women will pass away from colon cancer. Many of these fatalities could be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment through routine colon cancer testing before symtoms arise.
If the cancer is detected as a small polyp while undergoing a routine screening test, like a colonoscopy, the polyp might be able to be removed in the course of the colonoscopy. At this point, there is no need for the surgical removal of any segment of the colon. Once the polyp grows to the point where it becomes cancerous and gets to Stage I or Stage II, the tumor and a portion of the colon on each side is surgical taken out. The likelihood that the individual will survive the cancer is over 90% for Stage I and seventy three percent for Stage 2.
If the disease reaches Stage III, surgery is not enough. The patient will, furthermore, need to have chemotherapy. The relative 5-year survival rate falls to 53%, depending on such factors as the number of lymph nodes that show up positive for cancer.
As soon as the colon cancer metastasizes, treatment might call for the use of chemotherapy and perhaps other drugs as well as surgery on various organs. In case the measurement and quantity of tumors in other organs (for example, the liver and lungs) are small enough, surgery on these organs may be the primary treatment, then chemotherapy. Sometimes the dimensions or number of tumors in the other organs removes the possibility of surgery as part of the treatment.
If chemotherapy and other drugs are able to reduce the quantity and dimensions of these tumors, surgery might at that point turn out to be an option as the follow up treatment. Otherwise, chemotherapy and different drugs (possibly through clinical trials) might temporarily halt or reduce the continued progression of the cancer. With metastasis the person's likelihood of outliving the cancer for greater than 5 years following diagnosis falls to approximately 8%.
As the relative 5-year survival rates indicate, the time frame wherein the colon cancer is found and treated results in a significant difference. If discovered and treated early, the person has a high likelihood of surviving the disease. When diagnosis and treatment is delayed, the chances start turning from the person so that if the cancer reaches the lymph nodes, the percentage is nearly 50/50. And the likelihood declines precipitously once the cancer metastasizes.
But, too frequently physicians fail to advise standard cancer testing to men and women who do not have symptoms. By the time the cancer is ultimately found - sometimes due to the fact that the tumor has become so large that it is causing blockage, since the individual has inexplicable anemia that is getting progressively worse, or because the person begins to notice other indications - the cancer is a Stage 3 or even a Stage 4. The individual now faces a very different outlook than he or she would have if the cancer had been discovered early through standard screening.
Attorneys who handle cancer cases often classify this as a -loss of chance- of a better recovery. That is to say, since the doctor failed to recommend that the patient undergo routine screening test, the cancer is now much more advanced and the person has a much reduced chance of surviving the cancer. A physician might be liable for malpractice if he or she fails to propose cancer screening to a patient who later is discovered to have advanced colon cancer.
Contact a lawyer at once should you feel there was a delayed diagnosis of colon cancer because a doctor's failure to recommend routine colon cancer screening. This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal (or medical) advice. For any health concerns your should contact a physician. Should you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim consult with a lawyer right away. A competent lawyer experienced in medical malpractice can help you determine whether you have a claim for a delayed diagnosis colon cancer from a failure on the part of a physician to recommend colon cancer screening. There is a time limit in cases like these so call a lawyer immediately.
You can learn more about cases involving colon cancer and other cancer matters including metastatic breast cancer by visiting the websites