New York Colon Cancer Malpractice Attorneys
Representing Victims of Errors in Diagnosing Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the second deadliest type of cancer, yet with regular routine screening, it is almost always preventable. Unfortunately, errors can be made during the screening procedure, and the cancer can go undetected and be misdiagnosed. When this is the case, the patient will not receive critical early treatment and, as a result, can suffer needless harm or even die.
At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, we represent victims of colon cancer diagnosis errors, including the surviving family members of individuals who die as a result of substandard medical care. Our New York colon cancer malpractice attorneys are ready to sit down with you and listen to your story. From there, we can begin immediately investigating your claim and building a case tailored to your unique situation. In their decades of practice, our attorneys have recovered more than $200 million for their clients. Give us a call to learn how they can help you with your recovery.
What is Colon Cancer Malpractice?
Colon cancer malpractice refers to situations in which a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, or medical facility, fails to meet the accepted standards of care when diagnosing, treating, or managing colon cancer. When healthcare professionals do not adhere to these standards, it can lead to medical malpractice claims or lawsuits.
Here are some common examples of colon cancer malpractice:
- Misdiagnosis: Healthcare providers may fail to properly diagnose colon cancer, which can result in delayed treatment or inappropriate care. This can happen when symptoms are overlooked or when diagnostic tests are not correctly interpreted.
- Delayed diagnosis: A delayed diagnosis of colon cancer can significantly affect a patient's prognosis. Healthcare providers may not order necessary tests in a timely manner or may not act promptly on the results, leading to the cancer advancing to a more advanced stage.
- Treatment errors: Mistakes in the treatment of colon cancer, such as surgical errors, medication errors, or errors in administering chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can be considered malpractice if they cause harm to the patient.
- Inadequate follow-up care: Proper follow-up care is essential after colon cancer treatment. Failure to provide adequate follow-up care, such as monitoring for recurrence or complications, can be considered negligence.
- Informed consent: Healthcare providers must inform patients of the risks and benefits of treatment options and obtain their informed consent before initiating any procedure or treatment. Failure to do so can result in malpractice claims.
- Failure to refer to specialists: In some cases, a primary care physician or general practitioner may need to refer a patient to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist or oncologist, for further evaluation and treatment. Failing to make such referrals when necessary can be considered malpractice.
- Lack of communication: Poor communication between healthcare providers or failure to convey important information to the patient can result in malpractice claims. For example, if a radiologist fails to communicate concerning findings to the treating physician, it may delay diagnosis and treatment.
Patients who believe they have been victims of colon cancer malpractice can pursue legal action to seek compensation for their injuries or losses. Medical malpractice cases are complex and typically require expert testimony to establish that a healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care. It is essential to consult with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases if you believe you have a valid claim.
How Colon Cancer Spreads
All colon cancers begin as benign (noncancerous) growths called polyps. In some cases, and over quite a long period of time, the tip of the polyp may become cancerous. If not removed early enough, cancer may progress until the wall of the colon becomes involved. Most medical professionals agree that it takes five years or more for a cancerous polyp to spread to the colon wall. However, once the wall of the colon is invaded by cancer cells, there is the strong likelihood that the cancer will spread to other organs where it can cause massive damage and, ultimately, be deadly.
If your or your loved one’s colon cancer was overlooked and treatment was delayed, the experienced New York colon cancer lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC can help. We know the law and have been helping victims of medical malpractice recover damages for decades.
How Is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
A colonoscopy is the most effective colon cancer screening test in use today. During a colonoscopy, a fiber optic scope with a miniature camera is inserted into the rectum and guided through the length of the colon in an attempt to identify polyps. In order for this screening to be effective in allowing a close-up view of the colon wall, a pre-test colon cleanse must adequately empty the colon by inducing diarrhea.
How Can Colon Cancer Be Missed?
If there is adequate preparation and the colonoscopy is properly performed, almost every polyp and early cancer should be identified and removed. Colon cancer malpractice may occur when the doctor realizes that the colonoscopy prep was inadequate due to stool blocking a good view of the colon wall, yet continues with the procedure and misses something that needs to be removed. A year or so may go by, the patient begins to have symptoms, and further testing reveals colon cancer that probably was there at the time of the previous colonoscopy.
Additionally, colon cancer can also be missed when the gastroenterologist performs an inadequate or incomplete colonoscopy and misses a cancerous mass. In a case like this, the doctor likely failed to pass the scope far enough into the colon and missed cancer in an area that should have been explored.
If either of these situations should happen to you or a loved one, contact Simonson Goodman Platzer PC as soon as possible. We can help you understand your legal rights and options for filing a medical malpractice claim.
Late Colon Cancer Screenings
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its colon cancer screening guidelines a few years ago. It now recommends that patients and doctors schedule colorectal cancer screenings at 45, not 50, which was the previous age recommendation.
According to members of the medical task force, a sharp increase in colon cancer diagnoses among people aged 45 to 49 prompted an investigation. It concluded that more than 10% of all colorectal cancer cases occur in people under 50. Logically, the USPSTF determined that screenings should be occurring at 45 if that means catching such a large percentage of cancer cases earlier.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) first recommended that screenings start as young as 45 two years ago, too, citing similar concerns.
How Colon Cancer Malpractice Happens
A typical colon cancer malpractice case might happen if a doctor fails to perform a colonoscopy when one is necessary, and thereby fails to identify a treatable cancer. An example of this type of case might be a patient who has some blood in his stool, is chronically constipated, or has chronic diarrhea, and yet the primary care doctor fails to recommend a colonoscopy or referral to a specialist. If it turns out that the patient has colon cancer that has spread, the patient and/or his or her family members could have grounds for legal action.
Colon cancer malpractice cases can also arise when a primary care doctor fails to recommend routine screening at a proper time or interval, or when a gastroenterologist fails to recommend further testing when he or she sees something suspicious. The state of New York allows you two years and six months to file a colon cancer malpractice claim.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Received Improper Medical Care
If you suspect that you, a family member, or friend may have been a victim of colon cancer malpractice, contact the colon cancer malpractice lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation. We offer contingency fees, meaning if we don’t recover compensation on your behalf, you don’t pay us a dime.
Here are several other reasons how our firm can help:
- Initial Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. During this consultation, we'll listen to your concerns, review your medical records, and assess the viability of your claim. This allows us to determine if there are grounds for a lawsuit.
- Legal Expertise: Our experienced attorneys specialize in medical malpractice cases, including those involving colon cancer. We have a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal aspects of these cases, enabling us to provide you with expert guidance.
- Investigation: We will conduct a thorough investigation into your case. This may involve consulting medical experts to review your medical records and assess whether there was a breach of the standard of care in your diagnosis or treatment.
- Building a Strong Case: If we believe you have a valid claim, we will work to build a strong case on your behalf. This includes gathering evidence, medical records, witness testimonies, and expert opinions to support your case.
- Negotiation: We will negotiate with the opposing party, typically the healthcare provider's insurance company, to seek a fair and just settlement on your behalf. Our goal is to secure the compensation you deserve for the harm you've suffered.
- Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we will proceed to file a lawsuit and represent you in court. Our experienced trial attorneys will advocate for your rights during the legal proceedings.
- Advocacy: Throughout the legal process, we will be your advocates, providing guidance, support, and legal counsel every step of the way. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you.
- Maximizing Compensation: Our primary aim is to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages resulting from the malpractice.
- Compassion and Support: Dealing with a colon cancer malpractice case can be emotionally and physically challenging. We offer compassionate support to help you and your family through this difficult time, and we're always available to address your questions and concerns.