Colorectal Cancer Misdiagnosis: What Doctors Miss & Your Legal Options By John Macfarlane on April 24, 2024

patient with cancer in a hospital bed

Your life can change forever when a doctor fails to diagnose a health problem. This is especially true of failing to diagnose cancer in its earliest stages when it can be treated aggressively and eliminated. 

This is especially important for millennials and younger American adults to keep in mind given the rise of colorectal cancer diagnoses in recent years. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 150,000 new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer in 2024.

Our Salt Lake City, UT, medical malpractice lawyers would like to consider the common symptoms and warning signs of colorectal cancer, potential examples of misdiagnosis, and your legal options if your colorectal cancer was not diagnosed early.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

The most common early warning signs of colon and rectal cancer include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Changes in your bowel movement habits
  • Persistent abdominal pains and cramps
  • Problems with bloating or gas
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sensation that the bowel is never empty
  • Increased fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Why Do Doctors Misdiagnose Colon and Rectal Cancers?

In some cases, colorectal cancer misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis occurred because doctors did not regularly screen patients under 50 for the condition, or the symptoms were considered signs of another health issue. With the increased rates of colorectal cancer among adults under 50, doctors are now more likely to schedule a colonoscopy and take these symptoms seriously in younger patients. Another cause of incorrect or mistaken diagnosis by a doctor could include a failure to properly note test results.

Examples of Incorrect Diagnosis

Colorectal cancer shares symptoms with gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases, among other conditions. It’s possible for doctors to misdiagnose colon cancer or rectal cancer as diverticulitis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or hemorrhoids.

Seek a Second Opinion if You Feel Your Doctor Was Wrong

If you feel your doctor made a mistake, we recommend that you seek a second opinion as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment are crucial for beating colorectal cancer.

The second opinion can also be used as evidence if you decide to file a legal claim against your doctor for their failed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

How Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC is home to leading medical malpractice lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have a profound knowledge of state statutes regarding medical professionals as well as standards of care in the field of medicine. We will fight to seek compensation that covers your medical needs that arose because of a delayed cancer diagnosis.

Free Initial Case Reviews

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, your initial consultation is free of charge. You don’t have to pay us anything to get legal counsel from proven lawyers who’ve worked on many medical malpractice cases in the past. This eliminates the upfront financial obligation and pressure of speaking with an attorney. 

Representation on a Contingency Basis

If we work on your case, you don’t have to pay a retainer or hourly legal fees. Our attorneys only get paid if we can successfully settle your case outside of court or win a favorable jury verdict. If we don’t win your case, we do not get paid.

Request a Free Legal Consultation Today

To set up your free initial consultation, contact our Salt Lake City patient injury law firm. Our lawyers are ready to listen.

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Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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