New Jersey Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyers
Lawsuits When Colon Cancer Gets Worse Due to Misdiagnosis
Colon cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. You might assume that doctors know to act with caution and exactness when helping a colon cancer patient, yet this is not always the case. Countless patients each year received colon cancer misdiagnoses that make their conditions worse or can even jeopardize their health.
Simonson Goodman Platzer PC in New Jersey offers reliable legal counsel for colon cancer patients who were harmfully misdiagnosed and their families. If you have suffered due to a colon cancer misdiagnosis or some form of malpractice, please let our attorneys know. We have recovered more than $200 million for our clients, including many cancer malpractice cases that were too challenging for less experienced firms. Let us see what we can do with your colon cancer misdiagnosis case, too.
Call (800) 817-5029 or contact us onlineto request a FREE consultation about a colon cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer begins as polyps that can grow benignly for months or years. It is only when the tip of the polyp develops unusually that it becomes cancerous. If cancer spreads to the colon wall before it can be removed, treated, or controlled, then the patient will be at a high risk of severe complications.
It is a doctor’s responsibility to treat their patients with care and attention, so the signs of growing colon cancer can be noticed before the cancer spreads to the colon wall. If not enough was done to prevent this dangerous spread, then it might be medical malpractice in the form of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
Colonoscopies are the best tool at a doctor’s disposal to look for signs of colon cancer in a patient. When done correctly, a colonoscopy can detect colon cancer and give the doctor and the patient plenty of time to create a treatment plan together. As with all forms of cancer, the sooner that colon cancer is detected, the greater the chance the patient has of overcoming it and living a healthy, happy life.
On the other hand, a medical provider who does not take the proper steps to conduct a colonoscopy puts their patient at risk. While failing to conduct a colonoscopy is a common form of relevant medical negligence, it is in no way the only type.
Forms of negligence that can cause a colon cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Improperly performed colonoscopies: A colonoscopy is often the first step that a doctor can take to look for signs of colon cancer in a patient. Although the procedure is routine, it is also specialized, and not all doctors who perform colonoscopies know how to complete the procedure correctly and what to look for during the video-assisted examination. As a result, colon cancer misdiagnoses can occur due to improperly performed colonoscopies and/or misinterpreted colonoscopy results.
- Late screenings: The U.S. Preventable Services Task Force recommends that doctors schedule colorectal cancer screenings for patients when they reach the age of 45. A doctor who doesn’t recommend this to their patient could inadvertently and negligently put them at a higher risk of serious colon cancer that should have been detected and treated years ago.
- Inadequate tests: As mentioned, colonoscopies are the best method to detect colon cancer before it becomes even more dangerous. A medical provider who fails to order this test and other diagnostic methods can be seen as negligent and potentially liable for any harm suffered by their patient.
- Incorrect lab results: The results of a colonoscopy or another laboratory test like a blood test are only valuable if they are interpreted correctly. In many cases, a late colon cancer diagnosis or a misdiagnosis can be traced back to lab results that were made or interpreted erroneously.
- Mistaken symptoms: Colon cancer can manifest a variety of symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation. A doctor or gastroenterologist who is not paying close enough attention to the patient’s symptoms and medical records can mistake these symptoms for different, less serious illnesses.
Improperly Performed Colonoscopies
As mentioned above, improperly performed colonoscopies are a leading reason for colon cancer misdiagnoses. A colonoscopy is a specialized medical procedure that requires focused training and unique medical instruments and equipment to complete. If the medical professional completing the procedure is undertrained or unfamiliar with the medical instruments, then there could be any number of points where something goes wrong and the outcome of the colonoscopy is inaccurate, i.e., produces a false negative.
What is a Colonoscope?
The main medical instrument used in a colonoscopy is a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera at its end. During the procedure, the doctor will move the colonoscope around to check the lining of the colon. The live-feed image captured by the colonoscope is displayed on a monitor next to the doctor.
Misuse of a colonoscope can cause a colon cancer misdiagnosis if the:
- Doctor fails to thoroughly check the entire colon lining for polyps or abnormalities that can indicate cancerous growth, perhaps by rushing through the procedure.
- Colonoscope light or camera is defective, so the live-feed image is unclear, causing the doctor to misinterpret or miss an abnormality on the display.
- Monitor is defective or uncalibrated, causing it to display unclear or discolored images of the colon lining during the procedure.
- Colon lining becomes irritated by the ungentle use of the colonoscope, making it difficult to notice abnormalities.
How Can Improperly Performed Colonoscopies Be Prevented?
The simplest way to prevent an improperly performed colonoscopy is for a medical institution to ensure that only highly trained doctors perform the procedure. Furthermore, those doctors and support staff should take the time before a colonoscopy to check the colonoscope, monitor, and any other medical instruments that will be used. If a defect is noticed, then the equipment should be changed out, even if that means postponing the colonoscopy to a later date.
Given that the steps to prevent an improperly performed are this simple, it is inexcusable when they are not taken, and an inaccurate colonoscopy happens. The failure to ensure the colonoscopy is completed correctly can place liability directly on the medical practitioner and/or institution, warranting a colon cancer misdiagnosis claim.
What to Do After a Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis
If you believe that your colon cancer was misdiagnosed, either recently or when your symptoms first began, you should seek the help of another medical professional. You will want a second or even a third opinion from medical experts who get a chance to review your medical records and conduct their own tests. Without a proper diagnosis, it will be more difficult to pursue legal action.
Once you have seen another medical professional, or you don’t know where to find one that you can trust, you should call (800) 817-5029 and connect with our New Jersey colon cancer malpractice attorneys. The next step will be to see if you have the grounds to file a valid legal claim, which is where our legal professionals can shine. We know how to investigate medical mistakes to determine exactly what went wrong and who is liable for it.