Being told one has colon cancer tends to bring up dread in nearly all of people. It can therefore feel quite reassuring for your doctor say that you just have hemorrhoids and there is no need to be concerned about the blood in your stool. But this reassurance should only come after the doctor has eliminated the likelihood of colon cancer (and other possibly dangerous gastrointestinal issues). Otherwise, you might not learn that you have colon cancer until it is too late. Should a doctor conclude without testing assumes that reports of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding by a patient are from hemorrhoids and it subsequently is discovered that the patient had colon cancer all along, that doctor might not have met the standard of care. Under those circimstances, the patient might have a legal claim against that physician.
It is generally thought that there are presently over 10 million men and women with hemorrhoids. An additional 1,000,000 new cases of hemorrhoids will likely arise this year as opposed to a little more than the 100 thousand new cases of colon cancer that will be identified . Further, not all colon cancers bleed. When they do, the bleeding may be intermittent. Also subject to where the cancer is in the colon, the blood might not actually be seen in the stool. Possibly it is in part as a result of the difference in the volume of instances being identified that a number of physicians simply consider that the existence of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids. This amounts to gambling, pure and simple. A physician who reaches this conclusion will be right greater than 90% of the time. It seems sensible, doesnt it? The problem, though, is that if the physician is wrong in this diagnosis, the patient might not learn he or she has colon cancer until it has developed to an advanced stage, maybe even to where treatment is no longer effective.
When colon cancer is found while still contained within the colon, the patients 5 year survival rate will normally be above eighty percent. The five year survival rate is a statistical indicator of the percentage of patients who survive the disease for a minimum of five years subsequent to diagnosis. Treatment for early stage colon cancer normally entails only surgery in order to take out the tumor and surrounding portions of the colon. Based on variables like how advanced the cancer is and the individual’s medical history (including family medical history), age, and the person’s physical condition, chemotherapy may or may not be required.
For this reason doctors generally recommend that a colonoscopy ought to be ordered right away if a patient has blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy is a method that uses a flexible tube with a camera on the end is used to see the interior of the colon. If growths (polyps or tumors) are detected, they can be removed (if small enough) or sampled and tested for the existence of cancer (by biopsy). Providing no cancer is found from the colonoscopy can colon cancer be ruled out as a cause of the blood.
However, if the cancer is diagnosed after it has spread past the colon and has reached the lymph nodes, the person’s five year survival rate will generally be around 53%. Aside from surgery to take out the tumor and adjacent portions of the colon treatment for this stage of colon cancer requires chemotherapy in an attempt to eliminate any cancer that might remain in the body. By the time the cancer spreads to other organs such as the liver, lungs, or brain, the patients five year survival rate is lowered to roughly 8%. If treatment options exist for a patient at this point, they might include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other medications. Treatment might no longer be helpful once the cancer is this advanced. When treatment ceases to be helpful, colon cancer is fatal. This year, roughly 48,000 individuals will die in the U.S. from colon cancer metastasis.
As a result of telling the patient that blood in the stool or rectal bleeding as resulting from hemorrhoids without conducting the correct tests to eliminate the possibility of colon cancer, a doctor places the patient at risk of not learning he or she has colon cancer until it progresses to an advanced, possibly no longer treatable, stage. This may amount to a departure from the accepted standard of medical care and might result in a medical malpractice case.
If you or a a member of your family were assured by a physician that blood in the stool or rectal bleeding were because of only hemorrhoids, and were later diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, you ought to contact an attorney at once. This article is for informational usage only and does not constitute legal (or medical) advice. If you have any medical issues you should seek advice from doctor. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information in this article but ought to instead consult with an attorney. A competent attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice may be able to help you determine if you have a claim for a delay in the diagnosis of the colon cancer. Immediately contact an attorney are there is a time limit in lawsuits such as these.