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In the United States, only lung cancer claims more lives than colorectal cancer, which encompasses cancers of the colon, rectum, anus and appendix. Out of the more than 130,000 people in the United States who receive a colon and rectal cancer diagnosis each year, more than 50,000 people die.
Although colon and rectal cancers develop slowly, they are often not detected until they are life-threatening. Symptoms include changes in bowel habits, ranging from diarrhea, constipation, narrowing of the stool and rectal bleeding to cramping, steady stomach pain, and weakness and / or tiredness. Such symptoms can be evident even if the growth is in an early pre-tumor state, known as a “polyp.”
Anyone presenting the above symptoms to a doctor or medical professional should be given a cancer screening. Early screening can greatly increase the chance of survival. The two most typical types of screening for colorectal cancer are a flexible sigmoidoscopy, in which a doctor inserts a sigmoidoscope in the rectum and searches for growths, and a colonoscopy, in which a doctor uses a larger tube, a colonoscope, in the rectum and is able to examine the entire colon.
Early sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy can allow a doctor to find a polyp and remove it before it becomes malignant. The American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines state that beginning at age 50, both men and women should have a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, along with a yearly blood stool test. The guidelines also recommend a full colonoscopy every 10 years.
If you or a loved one is suffering from painful treatments for colon or rectal cancer, or if you have a loved one who has passed away because of the condition, it is possible that your doctor misdiagnosed the condition, delayed the diagnosis of cancer or made some other crucial error. At Richards & Richards, LLP, our lawyers and staff can examine medical records and discover whether negligence or misdiagnosis led to otherwise avoidable surgery, pain, suffering, or death. Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice attorney Veronica Richards , previously worked as a nurse practitioner, and has served people suffering from medical malpractice for more than 25 years.
To determine whether you, or a loved one, suffered from an incorrect diagnosis or other medical error, please contact a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer via email or call 412-261-2620 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation with one of our medical malpractice lawyers. If you cannot make it to our office in Pittsburgh, PA, our medical malpractice lawyers can come to you.