The very mention of the phrase -colon cancer- tends to raise worry in the majority of us. It can thus feel quite reassuring for your doctor say that you only have hemorrhoids and there is no need to be concerned about the blood in your stool. Yet this reassurance should not be given until the physician has eliminated the possibility of colon cancer (and other potentially serious gastrointestinal problems). Else, you might not find out that you have colon cancer before it is too late. Should a physician conclude without testing assumes that claims of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding by a patient are from hemorrhoids and it eventually turns out to be colon cancer, that physician might have committed medical malpractice and the patient may be able to pursue a lawsuit against that doctor.
In excess of 10 million men and women have hemorrhoids and another million new incidents of hemorrhoids will probably arise this year as opposed to a little more than the 100 thousand new cases of colon cancer that will be identified this year. In addition, not all colon cancers bleed. If they do, the bleeding might be non-consistent. And subject to where the cancer is in the colon, the blood may not even be visible in the stool. Possibly it is in part as a result of the difference in the quantity of instances being detected that some physicians simply consider that the existence of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding is from hemorrhoids. This amounts to playing the odds. A doctor who reaches this conclusion will be right greater than ninety percent of the time. It appears realistic, right? The difficulty, though, is that if the doctor is incorrect in this diagnosis, the patient might not find out he or she has colon cancer before it has reached a late stage, maybe to the point where treatment is no longer effective.
This is why doctors generally recommend that a colonoscopy ought to be completed immediately if a patient has blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible tube with a camera on the end is employed to visualize the inside of the colon. If growths (polyps or tumors) are found, they can be taken out (if sufficiently small) or sampled and checked for the presence of cancer (by biopsy). Only if no cancer is detected during the colonoscopy can colon cancer be ruled out as a cause of the blood.
However, should the cancer not be discovered until it has spread outside of the colon and has reached the lymph nodes, the individual’s five year survival rate will normally be roughly 53%. In addition to surgery to take out the tumor and surrounding areas of the colon treatment for this stage of colon cancer requires chemotherapy in an attempt to eliminate any cancer that may remain in the body. By the time the cancer reaches distant organs like the liver, lungs, or brain, the individual’s five year survival rate is cut down to roughly eight percent. Now treatment may entail surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other medications. Treatment may or may not still be effective when the cancer is this advanced. When treatment ceases to be effective, colon cancer is fatal. This year, roughly 48,000 men and women will pass away in the U.S. from colon cancer metastasis.
As a result of diagnosing complaints of blood in the stool or rectal bleeding as caused by hemorrhoids while not performing the right tests to eliminate the possibility of colon cancer, a physician puts the patient at risk of not learning he or she has colon cancer until it reaches an advanced, possibly untreatable, stage. This may constitute a departure from the accepted standard of medical care and might result in a medical malpractice case.
You can learn more about cases involving colon cancer and other cancer matters including breast cancer by visiting the websites