The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Younger patients with colon cancer more likely to be misdiagnosed

A study from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance shows that more colorectal cancer patients under 50 are being diagnosed with advanced stages of the cancer. This is due to an unfortunate trend where younger patients are being misdiagnosed and, consequently, treated for the wrong conditions. Texas residents may want to know more because colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, affects young adults as well as older individuals.

Specifically, younger patients are usually diagnosed with hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome because they share with colon cancer certain symptoms like fatigue, weight loss and constipation. The CCA analyzed 1,195 colon cancer patients and determined that 71 percent of those under 50 had stage 3 or 4 colon cancer. Most of those over 50 had stage 1 or 2. Sixty-three percent had to wait between three months and a year to even be screened for colorectal cancer. Many of these had to see two to four physicians before receiving the correct diagnosis.

However, there is a test called the fecal immunochemical test that can identify an important marker of colorectal cancer: blood in one's stool, which could signify colon polyps. Those who suspect they have cancer can use this test at home on a yearly basis, and it can be a good alternative to colonoscopies. The Annals of Internal Medicine published the results of one fecal immunochemical test study in February 2019.

Sometimes, but not all the time, the failure to diagnose a condition is due to negligence on the doctor's part. This means the doctor did not live up to a generally accepted medical practice. Such a claim can be difficult to prove, which is why attorneys may assist with the filing of medical malpractice claims. Those who think they have the grounds for one might consider hiring an attorney, especially if the other side is open to negotiations.

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