Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer

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NJ Lawyers Handling Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer Cases

Fighting for New Jersey victims when colorectal cancer is misdiagnosed

Colorectal cancer is cancer located in the lower part of the digestive system. Colon cancer refers to cancer in the large intestine, while rectal cancer refers to cancer of the rectum (the last few inches of the colon). These two cancers are usually grouped into the category of colorectal, or colon, cancer.

Colon cancer is an abnormal growth of cells within the colon. Typically, must colorectal cancers begin with growths of benign polyps – non-cancerous cell clusters that form along the wall of the colon. These polyps may develop into colon cancer over time, remaining in the colon or spreading throughout the body. Once this type of cancer has spread, it’s extremely difficult to treat and likely fatal.

Colon cancer is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms often mimic other gastrointestinal conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. Doctors must order diagnostic tests in order to properly identify colon cancer.

A cancer misdiagnosis can cause a delay in treatment that may cause cancer to spread, resulting in great harm or death to the patient. The medical malpractice attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP have the skill and experience to hold the negligent parties responsible.

Symptoms of colon cancer

Unfortunately, colon cancer may not cause symptoms right away. This is why screenings and exams are so important. When colon cancer does show symptoms, the American Cancer Society lists the following:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days.
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that’s not relieved by having one.
  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood.
  • Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark.
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Unintended weight loss.

Colon cancers often bleed into the digestive track. Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool, making it look darker but still normal. However, this blood loss can build up over time and cause a low red blood cell count (also called anemia). Anemia can sometimes be the first sign of colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for colon cancer

Researchers are unsure of the exact cause of colon cancer. Genes may play a role, but age and lifestyle may make a larger impact. Risk factors for colon cancer include:

  • Alcohol. Consuming more than one alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of colon cancer.
  • Smoking. Carcinogens from tobacco smoke can cause nearly any type of cancer.
  • Race. African-Americans are more likely to develop colon cancer than other races.
  • Diabetes. Insulin resistance can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Age. Colon cancer can occur at any age, but the vast majority develops in patients age 50 and older.
  • Lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle, like sitting at a desk or computer all day, raises the risk of colorectal cancer. Diets with high-calorie intake and high in animal fat can also increase the risk. (Health professionals typically recommend diets high in fiber and low in fats and red meat.) Finally, obesity can increase the risk of colon cancer being fatal.
  • Family or personal history. If a patient’s or family member’s medical background includes polyps or colon cancer, this increases the likelihood of polyps. It also increases the likelihood of polyps developing into cancer.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). Inflammatory conditions of the colon, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, increases the risk of colon cancer.
  • Radiation. Some research suggests that radiation therapy for previous cancers in the colorectal area (such as testicular cancer) can put a patient more at risk for colon cancer.

Doctors aware of any risk factors should appropriately screen their patients for colon cancer.

Treatment options for colorectal cancer in NJ

Treatment for colon cancer depends on the stage, size, and location of the cancer. However, common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

There are many cancer treatment centers in New Jersey, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Rutgers Cancer Institute, Steeplechase Cancer Center, Saint Peters University Hospital, and The Cancer Center at Shore Medical Center.

When your doctor fails to diagnose colon cancer

Doctors have several tests available to screen patients for colon cancer. These diagnostic tools include:

  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Virtual colonoscopy
  • Double contrast barium enema

These tests can all indicate the presence of colon cancer, but it’s also important which test a doctor chooses. Using the appropriate test is a vital part of correctly diagnosing a patient’s colon cancer. A physician may choose one test over the other for various reasons, including age, medical history, or whether sedation is necessary. Sometimes a doctor may have to perform a different type of test if the results of a first one weren’t clear.

A physician may be negligent if he or she fails to order one of these tests after noting a patient’s symptoms, misreads test results, or doesn’t order a second test when the results from the first were unclear or called for further investigation.

Carelessness or negligence at any point in the colorectal cancer screening process can lead to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose colon cancer while it’s still in its early stages. Delay of treatment may cause the cancer to spread, making it much more difficult to treat or even survive.

If you find yourself suffering from changes in your bowel health, talk to your physician immediately. Have you already spoken to your doctor about these symptoms and felt ignored, and later received a colon cancer diagnosis? Reach out to one of our NJ medical malpractice attorneys to explore your options.

Our New Jersey failure to diagnose cancer attorneys can help

Medicine is not an exact science, but that doesn’t excuse a doctor from negligence on the job. When a physician fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses you or a loved one’s colorectal cancer, the lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP fight on your behalf. We will work to secure you the compensation you’re entitled to. We have offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River. Call us at 732-777-0100 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation today.

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Testimonials

I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-22T00:29:45+00:00

~ Client

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

I have to say he is a great person.

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:42:12+00:00

~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

Mr. Zaslow is truly the best.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

Very very pleased with the service and professionalism.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

~ M.M.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

This is a 5 star firm.

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:04:32+00:00

~ Client

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

I would highly recommend his firm.

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:07:23+00:00

~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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