The number of colon and rectal cancer deaths in the United States has declined in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, colorectal cancer deaths are down more than 33 percent since 1999, despite the number of new cases increasing over that same period.
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in 2019. The diseases will kill about 51,020 people this year. The key to that waning mortality rate, the key to keeping that number lower, is early detection and treatment.
On the other hand, failure to diagnose could have fatal consequences. If you or a loved one has colorectal cancer that you believe a doctor should have noticed earlier, you may have a medical malpractice claim. The attorneys at Shapiro &Sternliebwill help you and your family pursue justice.
Why it's so Important to Catch Colorectal Cancer Early
How soon colorectal cancer is detected is a matter of life and death.
- Stages 1 and 2 colorectal cancer, where the cancer has not spread outside the colon or rectum, have a combined90 percent five-year survival rate.
- Stage 3 colorectal cancer, where the cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes, has a 70 percent five-year survival rate.
- Stage 4 colorectal cancer, where the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the liver or lungs, has a 14 percent five-year survival rate.
What are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?
In some cases, a person can have colorectal cancer for years without presenting any symptoms. That's why regular screenings are so important, especially for people older than 50. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bowel patterns
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
How a Doctor Can Fail to Diagnose Colorectal Cancer
There are numerous reasons colorectal cancer isn’t properly diagnosed:
- Incomplete colonoscopy
- Failure to order a biopsy or other appropriate testing
- Misinterpretation of biopsy results
- Failure to recommend colonoscopy in the presence of symptoms
- Failure to investigate low red blood cell count
What Damages Can I Recover From a Failure to Diagnose Claim?
The doctor who failed to diagnose your colorectal cancer may be liable for your medical expenses. Types of harm for which you or your loved ones may be compensated include:
- Premature death
- Inoperable cancer
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of bowel function
- More invasive or aggressive treatment
- More expensive treatment
- Longer recovery time
- Lost wages
- Long-term disability
Schedule Your Consultation Today
A cancer diagnosis is painful enough without the anguish of knowing a doctor should have caught it sooner. The attorneys at Shapiro &Sternlieb will fight their hardest to find justice for you and your loved ones. They serve Englishtown, Newark, Jersey City, Monmouth and Middlesex Counties, and nearby areas of New Jersey. Call (732) 617-8050 today to set up a consultation.