Colon cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine). Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas. Rectal cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum (the last several inches of the colon closest to the anus).
Colorectal and rectal cancer are the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the US. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 135,000 new cases and over 50,000 deaths expected in a one year period. About 72% of cases arise in the colon and about 28% in the rectum.
As with all malignancies, early detection is paramount when it comes to defeating colon cancer. With proper screenings, colon cancer can be found while it is still benign and in its "polyp" stage. Removal at this stage usually prevents the disease from progressing to a cancerous stage. Unfortunately, the majority of colon cancer diagnoses are not made at this early, pre-cancerous stage.
Since early detection is so important when it comes to colon cancer, misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose colon cancer at an early stage can have grave consequences. Proper screening for colorectal cancer may reduce deaths by as much as 70% or more. Initial screenings can be accomplished with a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOT) which identifies traces of blood in the feces. Positive tests are followed by a colonoscopy. Family screening can also be a valuable tool in identifying individuals at risk of developing colon cancer, since this is a type of cancer that does have a genetic basis for its cause. Family screening is such a simple, yet important tool in diagnosing colon cancer, that a physician that does not properly investigate family history can be negligent in his or duties. A positive family history along with blood in the fecal matter is a strong indication that colon cancer may be present, and any physician who does not heed that warning, and investigate further is doing a grave injustice to their patients. Similarly, any patient who experiences rectal bleeding ought to have that bleeding thoroughly evaluated, including colonoscopy if necessary.
Colon and rectal cancer are potentially dangerous diseases, but can be cured or even prevented if caught early enough. If you have suffered through a colon cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, contact Blume Forte at (973) 635-5400 today for a consultation of your case. Our New Jersey failure to diagnose cancer attorneys can examine your case and determine if mistakes in your diagnosis have resulted in unnecessary harm on your part.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.