The second greatest number of cancer fatalities is from colon cancer.. Every year, around forty eight thousand individuals will pass away from colon cancer. A large number of these fatalities could be avoided with early detection and treatment through standard colon cancer testing in advance of when symtoms develop.
When the cancer is located while it is still a small polyp in the course of a regularly scheduled screening test, such as a colonoscopy, the polyp might be able to be taken out in the course of the colonoscopy without the requirement for the surgical removal of any portion of the colon. Once the polyp grows to the point where it turns cancerous and gets to Stage I or Stage II, the tumor and a section of the colon on each side of the tumore is surgical removed. The chances that the individual will survive the cancer is over ninety percent for Stage I and seventy three percent for Stage 2.
In case the disease gets to a Stage 3, surgery is no longer sufficient. The individual will, furthermore, need to have chemotherapy. The relative 5-year survival rate is reduced to fifty three percent, depending on such factors as how many lymph nodes that show up positive for cancer.
Once the colon cancer metastasizes, treatment might call for undergoing chemotherapy and possibly additional drugs along with surgery on various organs. Should the measurement and number of tumors in different organs (such as the liver and lungs) are sufficiently few, surgery on these organs might be the first treatment, then chemotherapy. In some cases the dimensions or number of tumors in the other organs takes away the possibility of surgery as part of the treatment.
If chemotherapy and other drugs are able to reduce the number and size of these tumors, surgery may then turn out to be an option as the second form of treatment. If not, chemotherapy and other drugs (possibly through clinical trials) may temporarily halt or limit the further spread of the cancer. The relative 5-year survival rate falls to roughly eight percent.
The statistics are clear. The time frame wherein the colon cancer is diagnosed and treated results in a significant difference. If found and treated early, the patient has an excellent chance of surviving the cancer. When diagnosis and treatment is delayed, the odds begin turning against the person so that once the colon cancer reaches Stage 3, the probability is nearly even. Further the odds drop precipitously once the colon cancer reaches Stage IV.
However, too frequently physicians do not suggest standard cancer testing to their patients. By the time the cancer is eventually detected – many times due to the fact that the tumor has become so large that it is resulting in blockage, because the individual is losing blood internally and that condition is worsening, or because the person starts to notice other symptoms – the colon cancer has already reached a Stage 3 or even a Stage 4. The patient now confronts a very different prognosis than he or she would have if the cancer had been found early through standard screening.
In medical malpractice terms, the individual has suffered a “loss of chance” of a better recovery. In other words, because the doctor failed to advisev that the patient undergo routine screening test, the cancer is now much more advanced and the person faces a much reduced chance of surviving the cancer. A doctor might be liable for not meeting the standard of care if he or she does not propose cancer screening to a patient who subsequently is found to have metastatic colon cancer.
You need to consult with an attorney without delay should you feel there was a delayed diagnosis of colon cancer because of a doctor’s not suggesting routine colon cancer screening. This article is for general informational uses only and is not intended to be legal (or medical) advice. For any health issues, consult with a physician. If you think you might have a medical malpractice claim consult with a lawyer right away. A competent lawyer with experience in medical malpractice can assist determine if you have a claim for a delay in the diagnosis of colon cancer due to a failure on the part of a doctor to recommend colon cancer screening. There is a time limit in cases like these so do not wait to call an attorney.