Understanding Your Rights After a Delay in Colon Cancer Diagnosis
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that if detected early, can be very treatable. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2020 there has been an estimated 104,610 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in the United States. While colon cancer if diagnosed early can carry a survival rate of 90%, unfortunately a delay in colon cancer diagnose at stage four carries an overall survival rate of 14%. While there are unfortunate but unavoidable circumstances in which a patient is diagnosed with advanced stage colon cancer, there are other instances in which patients are not diagnosed until their disease has spread due to a delay in diagnosis due to medical malpractice. Our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers understand just how devastating a delayed colon cancer diagnosis due to medical malpractice can be, and are prepared to protect your rights.
Everyone knows that cancer is dangerous and needs to be treated aggressively or it could result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person. Unfortunately far too many individuals are misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider. That could either be a mistake in diagnostic testing or just an oversight in not ordering the proper tests, a delay in colon cancer diagnosis could be fatal. Even an individual without a medical degree knows this.
This primary reason for this is that the longer that a cancerous tumor is allowed to grow and develop, the longer that it has to being to expand outside its borders. This means that the cancer could grow from outside of its original growth after to another area that is more dangerous and potentially fatal. It can cause a local tumor to grow larger in the area. It can also allow a tumor to grow larger in that locality and spread to nearby tissue or organs—which colon cancer has a lot of neighboring structures that it could spread too. The worst is when colon cancer is allowed to spread further and into other structures not in the area. This is known as metastasis which can spread to other areas of the body like the liver, lungs, and brain. This can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries or conditions. Victims who have this type of serious spreading could have a very slim chance at recovering. This is why a delay in colon cancer diagnosis that allows cancer to spread this long is dangerous and commonly medical malpractice.
How is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
Screening Exams – If proper screening exams are performed (i.e. screening colonoscopy), colon cancer can be identified at an early stage. Often times, polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy procedure, which can allow for prevention of colon cancer before it develops.
Fecal Occult Blood Test – This type of test is often performed when a patient reports blood in their stool, anemia or other concerning symptoms.
Diagnostic Colonoscopy – This is done when a person is exhibiting unusual symptoms (i.e. rectal bleeding, narrowing stools, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.). This test can also be done if an abnormality was found on another test.
CEA Tumor Marker Testing – Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is usually done once colon cancer has been diagnosed and is then often used to monitor treatment response during treatment of a patient. The rise and fall of the CEA can indicate response to treatment or cancer progression.
Biopsy – A biopsy may be performed during a colonoscopy if a suspicious mass or polyp is found. This aids in the diagnosis by confirming the presence of cancer.
Genetic Testing – This is sometimes indicated if a provider feels there may be a genetic cause for the patient’s colon cancer (i.e family history, patient diagnosed at a young age).
CT Scan – A CT scan is used to help identify if the patient’s cancer has spread to other parts of the body (lymph nodes, lungs, liver, or other organs).
MRI – MRI scan is also used to detect if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
How Can a Delay in Diagnosis be Caused by Medical Malpractice?
The actions or inactions of a defendant such as a doctor, nurse, technician, radiologist, primary care physician, pediatrician, practice group, hospital or any other provide could result in medical malpractice due to a delay in diagnosis for colon cancer. Some of the most common causes for medical malpractice include the following:
- Failure to perform screening exams (i.e colonoscopy)
- Failure to listen to a patient’s complaints
- Failure to order necessary diagnostic tests
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Misinterpretation of biopsy results
- Misdiagnosis (diagnosing a patient’s colon cancer as something else)
- Failure to communicate test results
- Failure to act on test results
- Failure to perform complete diagnostic workup
How Can Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help Protect Your Rights
If you or your loved one was diagnosed with colon cancer and experienced a delay in diagnosis, you may be eligible for compensation. This is because a delay in the diagnosis of colon cancer can literally be a matter of life or death. If the cancer isn’t diagnosed at time of initial complaints or findings, it can spread to nearby organs; possibly making the cancer incurable or also requiring the patient to undergo a more aggressive treatment regimen than they would have had it been diagnosed at an earlier stage.
Our experienced Oregon delay in colon cancer diagnosis lawyers understand how devastating this can be and are prepared to review your case for FREE to determine if medical malpractice played a part in your delay in colon cancer diagnosis. If found to be due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. Compensation for this type of injury can include:
- Pain and suffering including past pain and suffering and future pain and suffering
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Lost wages due to the condition, malpractice, appointments, disability, or harm from the medical errors
- Lost future wages if unable to keep the same job or career and have to take a lower paying job
- Loss of consortium and inability to spend time with loved ones or have spousal relations
- Punitive damages in rare but exceptional cases of catastrophic medical malpractice, and
- Other types of damages.
These are just a few of the many indications for compensation related to a delay in cancer diagnosis medical malpractice claim.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
The ultimate personal injury is the wrongful death of an innocent person due to the malpractice of a healthcare provider. This medical malpractice can have absolutely disabling results on a family if a loved one passes away due to the errors of a healthcare provider. Some of the most common damages that a family may recover include the following:
- Pain and suffering of a deceased loved one due to the injuries resulting in death
- Lost income and support of income
- Burial expenses
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills and expenses
- Loss of guidance, support, relations, and interaction with a loved one, and
- Many other types of serious damages.
The loss of a loved one due to a delay in colon cancer diagnosis in Oregon can have lasting emotional and financial repercussions for a family. It is imperative that families always consult with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers for help.
Learn our How Delay in Colon Cancer Diagnosis Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.