Colon Cancer Metastasizes Because A Colonscopy Is Not Performed By Physicians For Patient With SymptWhen it comes to a number of cancers like colon cancer there are clear recommendations and guidelines for which tests to perform if a person has particular symptoms. In the event that a physician fails to comply with these recommendations and the person does have cancer which eventually winds up spreading on account of the resulting holdup in diagnosis, that doctor risks a lawsuit. To illustrate such a situation consider the following published case.
When the patient in this case commenced treating with his primary care physician the doctor did a general physical examination and documented his findings of both internal and external hemorrhoids. The physician noted that the individual had bleeding from the rectum periodically. The physician failed to do any further testing to check for the presence of blood in the man's stool or to account for the reason for the bleeding. Also, despite the fact that the patient was 50 years old when, the physician failed to refer the individual for a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy so as to screen for colon cancer
Two years later, having experienced several days of abdominal pain the patient was seen in the urgent care department at his physician's office. The man was examined by a nurse who noted in his medical chart that she detected occult blood in the man's stool during a guiaic test. A few days later the individual returned for a follow-up with his physician however the doctor did not do anything concerning the positive finding of blood in the stool. The doctor did however suggest that the individual undergo a screening sigmoidoscopy and referred him to a gastroenterologist.
The gastroenterologist did the sigmoidoscopy that had been requested by the primary care physician rather than a full colonoscopy. The gastroenterologist only checked up to 35 cm and recorded merely hemorrhoids none of which were bleeding. The gastroenterologist did not determine the source for the earlier finding of blood in the stool.
Two years later, the patient was again seen by the internist this time for bloating of the abdomen. During the physical examination of the man, the physician could detect an a mass along the liver and had the patient get a CT scan which showed large masses both in the liver as well as the colon:. Now the internist finally sent the patient for a colonoscopy which confirmed colon cancer. By this point, the patient had metastatic colon cancer which was so advanced that he was no longer a candidate for surgery. The man began treating with chemotherapy but passed away just over a year following his diagnosis.
A lawsuit was initiated against both doctors by the family of the patient. The law firm that represented the family reported that they were able to obtain a settlement in the amounts of $1,500,000 for the man's family.
This matter illustrates the importance of conducting appropriate tests for symptoms that raise the suspicion of colon cancer. Specifically if a patient has blood in the stool doctors generally concur that a colonoscopy rather than sigmoidoscopy should be done to eliminate the possibility cancer. By doing just a sigmoidoscopy in this instance the doctors failed to examine the entire length of the man's colon and therefore wrongly eliminated colon cancer as a possible reason for the blood. This led to a two year holdup before the patient's cancer was finally diagnosed. The law firm that handled this case for the man's family no doubt had medical experts ready to offer testimony that had this delay not occurred the patient's cancer would not have metastasized and the man would have survived after treatment.
by: Joseph HernandezAbout the Author:Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney accepting medical malpractice cases and wrongful death cases. You can learn more about cases involving colon cancer and other cancer matters including metastatic breast cancer by visiting the websites