According to recent studies, older Americans who visit their doctors regularly are less likely to develop or die from colon and rectal cancers. NBC NEWS reports that researchers believe it’s the screening that catches precancerous growths and early cancers, accounting for the differences seen in rates of both cancers and deaths among people on Medicare.
But not everyone is so lucky. Unfortunately, there are many cases where doctors fail to diagnose. The truth of the matter is that a colonoscopy can produce false-negative results, and the reasons for this remain obscure. Colorectal cancer generally occurs in patients over 50.
Our Queens medical malpractice lawyers understand that colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent form of cancer among men and women with an estimated 150,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Officials predict that close to 60,000 will die because of this disease each year. This cancer usually develops slowly over the course of several years. Unfortunately, the symptoms can be tough to pinpoint as they depend largely on the location of the cancer. Typically, it starts as a polyp and the removal of the polyp may effectively cure the potential for cancer. But that’s not always the case.
According to recent research, the proper screening can help to prevent or catch the problem by as much as 70 percent. Unfortunately, it’s not always accurate. In many cases, it is critical to understand the natural history of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, inclusive of the need for surveillance colonoscopy in patients at increased risk by virtue of their position in their family pedigree.
Through a lack of proper care in ordering, performing, and interpreting test results, a patient’s cancer may fail to be diagnosed at the early stages, which can wind up limiting treatment options and even survivability. The failure to timely diagnose and treat colon and rectal cancer could mean the difference between having to undergo minimally invasive treatment to more radical surgery or even premature death.
In 2013, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 102,000 new cases of colon cancer and more than 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20. This risk is slightly lower in women than in men.
The doctor’s responsibility lies in his or her recommendations and diagnosis. Failure to diagnose colorectal cancer is medical malpractice.
Questions to Determine This Medical Malpractice:
-Did the physician not recommend screening tests, like a colonoscopy?
-Did the physician evaluate the results of the screening?
-Were any polyps detected and were they properly removed to deter the development of any kind of cancer?
-Were symptoms of cancer recognized?
Did You Know?
-More than 35 percent of colorectal cancers are found while it’s still at an early stage?
-More than 35 percent of colorectal cancers are found after the cancer is diagnosed with regional metastases.
-About 20 percent of colorectal cancers are found after the disease has distant metastases, with spread other organs.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
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Hospital Infections a Leading Cause of Death in New York, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2013
Bigger Babies, Bigger Medical Risks for Mother and Child, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, August 30, 2013