New Jersey Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys
Representing Victims of Failure to Diagnose Intestinal Cancer Across New Jersey
Colon cancer occurs when cells develop and metastasize within the colon, also known as the large intestine, which is the lower component of the digestive system. Rectal cancer refers to cancer of the rectum, which comprises the last few inches of the colon. Generally, these cancers are subsumed within the category of colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were approximately 134,490 new cases of colon cancer in 2016 and that 49,190 patients died from the disease in the same year. Overall, colon cancer is an extremely aggressive form of cancer, which progresses quickly and ruthlessly claims the lives of its victims. With diagnostic tools such as colonoscopies available, colon cancer screening and early detection is essential to combating the disease. In so many cases, the patient’s life depends on it. Tragically, doctors and other medical professionals often fail to recognize the signs of colon cancer, to order appropriate testing, to accurately interpret test results, and to launch timely and appropriate treatment plans. If a healthcare provider failed in any of these aspects, he or she may be found negligent and thus, held liable for the suffering caused to the victim and his or her loved ones.
Fronzuto Law Group is a team of highly experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys who regularly tackle the most complex cases of cancer misdiagnosis and medical negligence. With a firm that concentrates on this specialized area of practice, we have accumulated an abundance of knowledge and resources, as well as relationships with some of the leading experts in the medical field. When we take on your case, we conduct exhaustive investigations and develop compelling, evidence-based strategies to achieve maximum compensation. We also stand beside you, walking you through every phase of the legal process, because we know all too well how difficult this time can be for you and your family.
Colorectal Cancer: The Basics
Colon cancer and rectal cancer are types of cancer that originate in the colon (large intestine) or rectum, respectively. Colorectal cancers often begin as polyps, which are formations of cells that may initially be benign, but subsequently become cancerous. One of the best ways to avoid developing colon cancer is to identify and remove polyps before they become cancerous, which is why screening is so essential. Colon cancer occurs more often in men than in women and certain risk factors place you at an increased risk for colon cancer. Being over 50, having a family history of colon cancer, having a personal history of polyps, or suffering from intestinal conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease are among the risk factors for colon cancer.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
At the outset of colon cancer, patients may not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, it is common to assume that they are caused by more common intestinal conditions. Symptoms can vary significantly among patients, depending on the progression of the disease and its precise location in the intestine. When patients seek treatment, it is essential for doctors and other medical professionals to recognize symptoms and further investigate the possibility of a colon cancer. Some of the most common symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Atypical and prolonged abdominal discomfort (i.e. pain, gas, or cramping)
- Changes in stool (i.e. consistency, appearance, or size)
- Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
- Fatigue or weakness that continues despite rest
Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis of Colon Cancer
When considering the rather general symptoms listed above, it is easy to see how doctors may misdiagnose colon cancer as more commonplace conditions. In fact, colon cancer is often misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis, Hemorrhoids, Crohn’s Disease, and other intestinal diseases and disorders. With the potential for medical misdiagnosis so high, it is critical that doctors order necessary tests to confirm or rule-out colon cancer as a potential diagnosis. Fortunately, there are several highly effective diagnostic procedures available. A colonoscopy is one such procedure, during which an endoscope (a tube with a video camera attached) is inserted into the rectum to provide a visual examination of the interior of the colon. Physicians can also utilize CT scans to generate images of the inside of the colon that may reveal abnormalities.
Unfortunately, failure to diagnose colon cancer can occur when doctors neglect to order the above tests. Colon cancer misdiagnosis can also occur when when medical professionals inaccurately interpret test results, or when they diagnose colon cancer as another condition, such as those addressed above. In order to capitalize on all available treatment options, and to have the best chance to eradicate colon cancer, it must be identified before progressing into later stages. It is important to note that in some cases, medical negligence occurs during treatment for colon cancer, during surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Regardless of the specific manner in which medical negligence manifests during colon cancer diagnosis or treatment, medical malpractice and wrongful death litigation provide victims and their families with the opportunity to hold these parties accountable.
Contact NJ Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love suffered harm as a result of failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of colon or rectal cancer, contact our seasoned New Jersey cancer misdiagnosis attorneys to learn more about your potential legal options. Simply call 973-435-4551 today. Consultations are always provided free of charge.