Colon cancer affects your digestive system. For both men and women in the U.S., it is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. For North Carolina residents, doctors correctly diagnosing colon cancer early may save their lives. Unfortunately, medical providers often misdiagnose the disease, which allows the cancer to spread. This can ultimately cost lives.
Medical professionals diagnose colon cancer with specific tools
In order to accurately provide a patient with a medical diagnosis of colon cancer, either a colonoscopy or CT scan of the colon must be performed. When these diagnostic tests are not performed, medical professionals easily assume the colon cancer symptoms are caused by another condition.
Medical providers may assume the cancer is a less serious condition
Colon cancer’s symptoms can appear to be less serious, especially in the important early stages. Common colon cancer symptoms include:
• Blood in stool
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Belly cramps
• Sudden weight loss
These symptoms also play a significant role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and hemorrhoids. Medical professionals may diagnosis you with one of these conditions instead.
Failing to diagnose correctly can be medical malpractice
Medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against doctors who fail to provide the right cancer diagnosis. But in order to successfully win a court case for medical malpractice, you must be able to prove negligence. Negligence requires you proving all of the following:
• You had a doctor-patient relationship.
• Your doctor breached the duty of care.
• You or your deceased loved one suffered significant harm.
• The doctor’s mistake caused the harm.
A misdiagnosis may be fatal
Colon cancer treatment may only be effective if you are diagnosed during an early stage of the disease. If you or your loved one receive a misdiagnosis, you may miss the window of opportunity to treat the disease. This can alter the lives of your entire family.