The key to fighting colon cancer is early detection and treatment. When a patient is misdiagnosed or when there is a failure to timely diagnose colon cancer, there is an increased risk of it spreading (metastasizing) and treatment options become significantly limited. In these types of cases, it is important to determine when the cancer could/should have been diagnosed and if the patient’s prognosis was affected by the failure to provide timely treatment.
One of the reasons colon cancer is not timely diagnosed or misdiagnosed is that the early signs and symptoms of the disease process are sometimes not recognized or are misinterpreted by healthcare providers. It is therefore critical for healthcare providers to be cognizant of the symptoms of colon cancer during the earliest stages, when it is the most curable; and to ensure that patients go for adequate timely screenings including colonoscopy and fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs).
Some of the warning signs that a patient is suffering from colon cancer include:
- Significant changes in bowel movements including diarrhea and constipation
- Blood in the stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Persistent abdominal discomfort
- Changes in stool consistency, shape or size
- Weakness and fatigue that does not go away
- Unexplained weight loss
It is the responsibility of medical professionals to recognize these warnings signs and to order proper tests. It is possible to detect colon cancer or its symptoms in their earliest stages by utilizing various tests including but not limited to colonoscopy, FOBTs, CT scans, biopsies, etc.
Failure to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer in a timely and accurate manner is a form of medical malpractice that can have significant and sometimes fatal consequences for patients.
If you believe you have suffered as a result of cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, it is important that you contact a New Jersey law firm that has significant experience handling medical malpractice cases relating to cancer misdiagnosis. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer at Blume Forte will advise you of and help protect your rights and options and can assist you in pursing fair and full compensation for your and your family’s losses. Contact us today.