Colon Cancer – Perforated Bowel
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The ACS estimates there will be 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer in 2018. Today there are more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
As with most cancers, early detection and screening is critical for treatment and prognosis. Polyps found during screening can be immediately removed before they can develop into cancer, and if cancer is detected, it is easier to treat when caught early.
Symptoms of colon cancer can include a change in bowel habits, bloody stool or rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, and unintended weight loss. Not all people show signs of colon cancer, so additional testing and screenings are required. The ACS recommends that at age 50 both men and women should follow a testing plan to find polyps and cancer which can include: colonoscopy every 10 years, or CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years, or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years. The ACS also recommends the following tests to find colon cancer – Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or yearly guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), or stool DNA test (sDNA) every 3 years.
Treatments for colon cancer include surgery (colonoscopy, polypectomy and local excision, and colectomy), radiation therapy, ablation or embolization, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Unfortunately, failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis and delayed colon cancer diagnosis do occur. Some patient’s tests are not properly performed, or they are given the wrong diagnosis. Having colorectal cancer also makes one more susceptible to developing a bowel perforation (gastrointestinal perforation). The perforation can occur when a mass or polyp is removed by a doctor during surgery. In addition, the doctor performing the procedure may have failed to stop the procedure when necessary or does not perform the procedure with the appropriate level of care. Also, if a perforation occurred during the surgery was it promptly and properly diagnosed and did the patient receive timely treatment to resolve the issue? A bowel perforation is a medical emergency and can result in extended hospital stays, disability, and even death.
Not all misdiagnosed colon cancer cases or perforated bowel incidents are medical malpractice claims. If you believe the doctor was negligent in diagnosing colon cancer or was negligent in attempting to pass the colonoscopy instrument through a colon structure in completing a colonoscopy or you feel there was failure to timely diagnose or treat a perforation as a result of the colonoscopy, you should consider contacting a medical malpractice attorney to learn about your rights.
Trial Attorney Tami Wolfe has the experience and has successfully litigated medical malpractice claims. She represents clients throughout South Florida including Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Weston and Sunrise.
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury or death due to failure to diagnose colon cancer or as a result of a perforated colon, contact Tami Wolfe online or call her at (954) 791-0477 for a FREE consultation.