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Colon Cancer Malpractice

colorectal Colon cancer malpractice lawyers, medical malpractice misdiagnosis attorneys

Colorectal cancer—or cancer of the colon or rectum—is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 56,600 Americans will die of colorectal cancer this year. Colorectal cancer is also one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States; approximately 148,300 new cases will be diagnosed in 2002. For men, colorectal cancer follows skin, prostate, and lung cancers in frequency; for women, it follows skin, breast, and lung cancers.

Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis

Failing to properly evaluate complaints of rectal bleeding, despite a plethora of medical literature available to physicians and information disseminated to the public about its importance as a sign of colon cancer for decades, continues to result in many, if not the majority of the colon cancer deaths each year in the United States.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that colon cancer almost always arises from a polyp which is often readily demonstrable for years provided appropriate studies are done, and which may bleed intermittently for years before an invasive and ultimately incurable cancer develops. For an illustrated tutorial about Colon Cancer, Click here.

Prevention and Early Detection: Keys to Reducing Deaths

Reducing the number of deaths from colorectal cancer depends on detecting and removing precancerous colorectal polyps as well as detecting and treating the cancer in its early stages. Colorectal cancer can be prevented by removing precancerous polyps or growths, which can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops.

Two tests have proven to be beneficial in screening for colorectal cancer

The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) detects blood that is not visible in a stool sample. One U.S. clinical trial reported a 33% reduction in colorectal cancer deaths and a 20% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence among people offered an annual FOBT. In trials elsewhere, screening every other year reduced colorectal cancer deaths 15% in the United Kingdom and 18% in Denmark.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a screening procedure that uses a hollow, lighted tube to visually inspect the wall of the rectum and part of the colon. In case-control studies, deaths from colorectal cancer within reach of the sigmoidoscope were 59% lower among people who had undergone a sigmoidoscopy than among those who had not undergone the procedure.

Two recommended tests for colorectal cancer screening

Colonoscopy – a screening procedure that uses a hollow, lighted tube to visually inspect the internal wall of the rectum and the entire colon. Samples of tissue or cells may be collected for closer examination, or polyps may be removed during this procedure.

Double-contrast barium enema – a series of X-rays of the colon and rectum taken after the patient is given an enema containing barium dye, followed by an injection of air.

These two tests are used to examine the interior wall of the entire colon and can be used as screening tests or as follow-up diagnostic tools when the results of another screening test are positive. Another procedure, called a digital rectal examination, involves a doctor inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal areas. This test inspects only a limited area and is not recommended as a screening method.

Current Guidelines

Several scientific organizations recommend regular screening for all adults aged 50 years of age or older. Recommended screening procedures include the following three tests

1) FOBT every year
2) Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
3) Total colon examination by colonoscopy every 10 years or by double-contrast barium enema every 5–10 years.

For news about the newest colon cancer treatment breakthroughs, click here.

If you or your loved ones have been harmed by the failure of a doctor to treat your symptoms causing you serious harm, contact us now.


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