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Studies Show Colon Cancer in Young People is Often Misdiagnosed

Studies Show Colon Cancer in Young People is Often Misdiagnosed

We don’t typically associate cancer with young adults, but when it comes to colon cancer, diagnoses among young people are on the rise. According to the National Cancer Institute, colon cancer rates among people under 50 years of age have been steadily increasing since the 1990s. Researchers are still working to uncover why this is the case, but in the meantime young people are experiencing disastrous consequences. I’ll tell you more about this disturbing trend below, as well as when a Northern New Jersey colon cancer misdiagnosis attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates may be able to help.

Recent Trends in Misdiagnosis

According to a 2019 study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, 71 percent of study participants under 50 years old were diagnosed at an advanced stage. What is most alarming about this is that patients over 50 are usually diagnosed at an early stage (I or II). Additionally, 63 percent of colon cancer survivors had attempted to get a diagnosis for 3 to 12 months before receiving one. Medical professionals commonly misdiagnosed their cancer for other medical conditions such as hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome.

Some study participants had to see four doctors before being properly diagnosed.

So, what is the cause of the late or incorrect diagnoses? For one, since colon cancer is a disease most of us associate with older people, young people often don’t attribute symptoms like blood in their stool, constipation, rectal bleeding, or bloating, to cancer. Of course, while patients should make sure to report any unusual symptoms to their doctors, they are not to blame–it is imperative that doctors remember that colon cancer is a possibility, even for young people.

If you are concerned that your medical issues, or those of a relatively young loved one, are not being taken seriously by your doctor, the best course of action is to aggressively seek out other opinions. If you have been misdiagnosed, working with a colon cancer misdiagnosis attorney serving Northern New Jersey may be in your best interest. Even if you are unsure whether or not you have a case, Buttafuoco & Associates can help you understand your rights during a free consultation.

The Dangers of Misdiagnosis

There are many factors that make medical misdiagnosis more common than we would like to think. Short appointment times and a failure to order proper diagnostic tests are just some of the reasons serious illnesses go undetected and medical mistakes happen. (You can read more about these issues in our blog.)

It’s key to remember that misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, often with severe repercussions. Any cancer caught at an advanced stage is far more difficult to treat, which means patients with higher stages of cancer are exposed to aggressive treatments that can significantly reduce their quality of life. Common adverse events from cancer treatment include neuropathy, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, and more. Some treatments are even known for causing fatal events like heart failure.

While we tend to think of misdiagnoses as synonymous with a missed diagnosis, it’s also possible for a doctor to diagnose a patient with a different subtype of cancer than the one they have, which can result in ineffective medical treatment. At this point, depending on the circumstances, individuals working in the lab may also be at fault.

As you can imagine, these types of medical malpractice cases can quickly become complicated, so working with an experienced colon cancer misdiagnosis attorney in Northern New Jersey is essential to getting the compensation you need to pay for necessary treatment.

If you are in the process of getting a diagnosis, pay special attention to common colon cancer symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, blood in your stool, gas pain or cramping, unexpected weight loss, fatigue, and nausea or vomiting.

If you notice these symptoms, especially if they are frequent, make sure to mention them to your doctor. If your current doctor is not taking your symptoms seriously, see a different medical professional.

Do You Have a Medical Misdiagnosis Case?

If you have been incorrectly diagnosed or received a diagnosis of colon cancer too late, you may in fact have a case. You could be eligible for a variety of compensation types including medical bills, lost time from work and lost income, pain and suffering, and more, depending on the details of your situation.

For a medical malpractice claim to qualify, you and your attorney will need to prove a doctor patient relationship and that another competent doctor with similar skills in a similar situation would have gotten the correct diagnosis or diagnosed you more quickly.

To do this, you’ll need to prove that either the doctor did not include the diagnosis of colon cancer on their list of potential diagnoses, that they did not send you to a specialist when necessary, that they failed to order needed lab tests, that they misinterpreted tests, or another form of negligence.

The other important piece of proving medical misdiagnosis is that you must demonstrate that the misdiagnosis caused you harm.

If it did not harm you, then you may not have a case.

Many times, these situations are not cut and dried, but working with a Northern New Jersey medical misdiagnosis attorney can help you understand whether or not your doctor violated your rights.

Misdiagnosed? Call Buttafuoco & Associates

If you are concerned that you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis of colorectal cancer, or another form of cancer, consulting with a medical misdiagnosis attorney may be helpful.

At Buttafuoco & Associates, we strive to defend malpractice victims from negligent health care providers so they can receive the compensation they need to recover. Consultations are always free.

To find out more about your case or how medical malpractice claims work, call 1-800-NOW-HURT.


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