Colorectal cancer is the fifth most common reason for malpractice lawsuits, with many plaintiffs claiming that there was a failure by their health care professional to detect the condition early enough. Patients in New York should know that colorectal cancer produces symptoms that can be mistaken for other medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids.
In many cases, in the disease’s earliest stages in which it is considered to be most curable, patients may not exhibit any of the symptoms of colon cancer. This can result in a delayed diagnosis, which can reduce the chances of a patient receiving effective treatment.
Patients who do have symptoms of the disease may be embarrassed and may delay getting medical help. This embarrassment may also cause some patients to avoid undergoing the medical tests that are necessary to diagnose the condition. These tests may include a sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or lower gastrointestinal series.
Colorectal cancer is still under-diagnosed even after patients seek medical care. An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may review a case of misdiagnosed colorectal cancer and may advise clients of their legal options. Health care professionals may be considered liable for the misdiagnosis if they failed to gather a complete medical history of the patient or failed to administer the diagnostic tests correctly.
Individuals whose misdiagnosed colon cancer resulted in the worsening of the disease, delayed treatment or unnecessary treatment may pursue financial damages against the liable parties. The surviving family members of individuals whose misdiagnosed condition resulted in death may also have legal recourse. A medical malpractice attorney may file lawsuits against the liable health care professionals and the facility at which they work for the misdiagnosis a patient’s colorectal cancer. The attorney may engage in litigation during a trial to obtain a fair financial settlement.