Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis Statistics

“In New York State, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among all people combined. Each year, about 4,600 men and about 4,400 women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and about 1,500 men and about 1,500 women in New York State die from this disease.” (1)

It “is the second-leading cause of cancer death in New York City, after lung cancer. It is most often found in people aged 45 and older.” (2)

The likelihood of being diagnosed with colon cancer typically increases with age. However, it “has been increasing in New Yorkers under age 50.” (3)

For people ages 45 to 49, the incidence rate is 31 per 100,000. For people ages 70 to 74, the incidence rate climbs to 159 per 100,000. The numbers among younger people are concerning. “About a third of colon cancer deaths in New York City are in people younger than 65.” (4)

Need Early Detection of Colon Cancer

When detected early, colon cancer is “one of the most treatable forms of cancer.” (5) Health care providers are recommending colon cancer screening begin as young as age 45 or younger for those at average or increased risk.

“Although most colorectal cancer patients older than 50 are diagnosed in the early stages of disease, the new research revealed that most of the younger patients and survivors in the study, 71%, said they were diagnosed at the advanced stages of 3 and 4.” (6)

It was discovered “for many younger patients, it took visits to multiple doctors before the correct diagnosis was made.” (7) It turns out, “Since the 1990s, the rate of colorectal cancer… has more than doubled among adults younger than 50. Not only that, but more younger people are dying from the disease.” (8)

Colon Cancer Symptoms

Colon cancer starts in your large intestine, called the colon. The colon is the last part of your digestive tract.

Sometimes colon cancer is called colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer refers to the combination of colon cancer and rectal cancer. This type of cancer begins in the rectum.

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, include: (9)

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation, or a change in the consistency of your stool.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain.
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.
  • Weakness or fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Colon cancer can be mistaken for other medical conditions. For example, “Colorectal cancer can seem a lot like some common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an infection, or inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.” (10)

What Qualifies as a Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis?

Reputable, responsible doctors should know some of the common signs of colon cancer —”blood in the stool, excessive diarrhea or constipation or bowel movement, fatigue, and/or rectal bleeding.” (11) Even if a patient is young or doesn’t have classic signs or risk factors, “it is always important to screen for cancer.” (12)

The grounds for a lawsuit against a doctor or medical facility for claims of cancer misdiagnosis or medical error can be:

  • Fail to offer or recommend cancer screening.
  • Fail to obtain a family history of colon cancer.
  • Fail to properly perform a colonoscopy.

Has your colon cancer been misdiagnosed? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What Injuries Can You Suffer If Your Colon Cancer Is Misdiagnosed?

Identifying colon cancer in its early stages can make a huge difference in the overall prognosis. “In fact, only 40% of colon cancer cases are caught early.” But “in the early stages of cancer, the survival rate can be up to a staggering 90%!” (13)

One possible consequence of misdiagnosis is the wrong treatment altogether. A doctor might prescribe the wrong medications or have you undergo unnecessary surgical procedures. These treatments can lead to further medical complications and even more problems.

Ultimately, if you have colon cancer and are misdiagnosed, your cancer could advance rapidly. You might develop inoperable cancer, your cancer could spread, and you could spend a lot of money on treatments that don’t help — and actually make everything worse.

Sadly, in worst case scenarios, you could die because you didn’t receive the right treatment in time.

How W&L Can Help

Weitz & Luxenberg has been around for a long time, over 35 years. We are located in the heart of Manhattan. Since day 1, we have made it our mission to help people harmed through the actions and inactions of others.

Through years of experience, we know New York laws — and the ins and outs of medical malpractice and wrongful death — in a way few law firms do. Plus, we have won verdicts and settlements of billions of dollars on our clients’ behalf.

Whatever your unique circumstances, we know we can help you. Here are just a few of our success stories:

  • $1.1 million settlement — A 70-year-old man died because his gastroenterologist failed to inform him of his stage 1 colon cancer diagnosis. By the time our client learned he had colon cancer at an ER 17 months later, the cancer was advanced and treatment could not save his life.
  • $2.35 million settlement — A young, single mother developed symptoms common with pancreatitis. She went to numerous hospitals looking for help as her condition grew worse. She did not receive a timely, correct diagnosis and the care she needed. She ultimately died of sepsis.
  • $2.2 million settlement — A woman in her 30s had a tonsillectomy performed by a specialist. Just 10 days later, she reported to an ER complaining of a sore throat, saying she could not swallow. She was misdiagnosed and not treated appropriately. Within 48 hours of being released from the hospital, our client died from blood loss because her surgical wound had ruptured.
  • $500,000 settlement — A woman’s uterus was irreparably damaged because multiple doctors and hospitals failed to diagnosis her intrauterine infection. Numerous mistakes and botched surgical procedures nearly killed her.