Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit for Colorectal Cancer Misdiagnosis By Larry A. Tawwater on July 09, 2024

hospital patientCancer is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be frightening and stressful. However, a timely diagnosis can also be life-saving. Cancer is progressive, so the earlier it is detected and treated, the better the chance of patient survival. Unfortunately, cancer misdiagnosis is not uncommon.

Colorectal cancer is one type of cancer that is frequently misdiagnosed. A delayed or failed cancer diagnosis can have catastrophic physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Medical malpractice lawyers at The Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City, OK, work with clients to file a medical malpractice suit for colorectal cancer misdiagnosis and hold negligent medical providers accountable for their actions.

How Common Is Colorectal Cancer?

A common misconception about colorectal cancer is that it is a rare disease that only affects older individuals. In reality, colorectal cancer can develop in patients of any age. Yale Medicine reports that in recent years there has been a continual rise in colorectal cancer cases in patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Yale colon and rectal surgeons urge these age groups to be aware of potential colorectal cancer warning signs and report them to a doctor as soon as possible.

Colorectal Cancer Warning Signs

Like many types of cancer, colorectal cancer may not present symptoms until the condition has worsened. However, there are warning signs that may indicate the disease is present. Individuals who experience any of the following should report them to a doctor:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
  • Blood in the stool
  • Anemia
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Unusual lumps around the abdomen

Mistaking Colorectal Cancer for Other Conditions

Even when individuals report warning signs to a doctor, colorectal cancer can be misdiagnosed. Colorectal cancer misdiagnosis is widespread because medical professionals often mistake it for other conditions that share similar symptoms and warning signs. Colorectal cancer may be mistakenly diagnosed as:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Colitis
  • Hemorrhoids

Causes of Colorectal Cancer Misdiagnosis

Even though colorectal cancer shares symptoms with other medical conditions, medical professionals should consider all potential issues when a patient presents with possible colorectal warning signs. The error or neglect of a medical professional often causes colorectal cancer misdiagnosis. Specific mistakes that can lead to delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose include:

  • Failure to discuss or examine the patient’s medical and family history
  • Neglect to order a colonoscopy (diagnostic test for colorectal cancer)
  • Failure to visualize the whole colon during a colonoscopy
  • Misinterpretation of diagnostic test results
  • Failure to follow up on test results

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Delayed or misdiagnosis of colorectal cancer can have catastrophic consequences for the patient. As the cancer progresses, patients experience more severe symptoms and require more aggressive and costly treatment. In the worst case, misdiagnosis can be fatal for the patient. Our Oklahoma City medical malpractice lawyers can examine the details of a case to determine if there are grounds to file a lawsuit. 

To establish medical malpractice, we must be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. There was a doctor-patient relationship
  2. The medical professional breached their professional duty of care
  3. The breach of duty of care directly caused delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
  4. The patient suffered economic or non-economic damages

Learn More

Individuals in the Oklahoma City area who believe that colorectal cancer was misdiagnosed due to medical malpractice can work with attorneys at The Tawwater Law Firm to learn more about their legal options. To schedule a consultation with our legal team, contact our law firm online.

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The Tawwater Law Firm Office

The Tawwater Law Firm

The Tawwater Law Firm is dedicated to representing the people of Oklahoma in various types of personal injury lawsuits. For more than 40 years, our firm has adhered to the highest standards of hard work, professionalism, and responsive care for our clients.

To schedule a consultation at our Oklahoma City-based firm, please contact us online or call (405) 607-1400.

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