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What People Over 50 Should Know About Cancer Misses

Sad Female doctor talking to older couple

As you approach “a certain age,” usually about 50 years old, it’s important that you schedule a routine colonoscopy once a decade. Undergoing this procedure may seem uncomfortable, but roughly 60% of all deaths related to colon cancer could be prevented had patients attended their routine appointments.

However, there are other cases where someone attends their routine procedures, but doctors fail to identify the warning signs that could save someone’s life. If you’re over 50, here’s what you should know about colonoscopies and cancer misses.

How Likely?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common kind of cancer in the United States, affecting 1-in-22 men and 1-in-24 women, adding up to about 150,000 diagnoses each year. Yet as common as this condition is, studies show that doctors fail to identify someone with colon cancer in roughly 1-in-19 screenings.

How Could This Happen?

Reading the results of a colonoscopy requires a keen eye. Doctors are looking for cancerous polyps, but not all polyps in the colon are cancerous. However, there’s also evidence to suggest that some misses come from the right side of the colon, where polyps are differently shaped and grow much faster.

If a doctor is not familiar with the different types of polyps or how they’ll develop over time, what might be a clear case of right-side colon cancer to one doctor could go missed by another. When that happens, the affected person may go a full decade before their next screening, during which time the cancer could accelerate.

In these circumstances, affected patients may have standing in a medical malpractice case and could pursue compensation for cancer treatment as well as the pain and suffering that could have been avoided had the doctor identified it earlier.

If your doctor fails to identify the warning signs of colon cancer, our team is here for you. At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience and have a 98% success rate in getting compensation for our clients. Reach out today for a free consultation at