For patients in New York, the idea that a doctor may fail to diagnose a serious disease like cancer is deeply disturbing. The potential for misdiagnosis escalates when the disorder in question is rare, such as appendix cancer. While colorectal cancer is a relatively common form of cancer, the growth of a cancerous tumor in the appendix is a much less frequent occurrence.
Appendix cancer can be a serious concern especially because many patients experience few early symptoms and they can carry similarities to other digestive concerns. For example, diarrhea, bloating and constipation can be signs of appendix cancer.
This type of cancer spreads easily and can be deadly. There is no clear purpose of the human appendix; without the appendix, people’s digestive systems function naturally. Because the appendix itself has no significant purpose, the cancer can be difficult to diagnose because it does not interfere in the early stages with any essential bodily function. In the early days of the disease, cancer can block the appendix and cause appendicitis; sometimes, this can lead to the cancer being removed before it has spread. In later stages, when it has spread, it can be difficult to treat.
The most common treatment for appendix cancer is the removal of the tumor, generally by removing the appendix and part of the colon. Chemotherapy is also used to eradicate cancer from the body. Early detection and treatment is critical to achieving a successful outcome for appendix cancer sufferers.
The consequences of a failure to diagnose cancer can be deadly. In some cases, a doctor or hospital had all of the information they need, yet still failed to diagnose the cancer. Patients who have been misdiagnosed and have suffered a worsening medical condition as a result may choose to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer on steps that can be taken to seek compensation for damages.