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Failure to Diagnose Rectal Cancer

Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Cancer Malpractice Victims

(We have other offices throughout Upstate, New York)

More than 100,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This type of cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. However, rectal cancer can be treated or even prevented by removing pre-cancerous polyps. Often these polyps are a sign of cancer, and they appear long before malignant growths. If a polyp is detected early enough, it is often treated properly before it spreads, resulting in a very high five-year survival rate. If you were harmed by a failure to diagnose rectal cancer, you should call the seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to seek the best results. Our trial counsel has 3 decades of experience and many wins—we seek best results for every client.

Failure to Diagnose Rectal Cancer

Failure to diagnose rectal cancer can result in a patient requiring more expensive and painful treatment. It may lead to a patient's wrongful death. Health care providers are supposed to screen patients. Unfortunately, a significant number of adults do not go through colonoscopies or other screening procedures, and even when they do, there is a chance that a primary care doctor or gastroenterologist will fail to provide a timely diagnosis. When your symptoms are diagnosed improperly as indigestion or diarrhea, for instance, you may not get care that would allow for a better prognosis and recovery.

However, not every failure to diagnose rectal cancer is medical malpractice. In order to show malpractice, our tenacious medical malpractice attorneys will need to prove: (1) you were owed a professional duty of care by your provider, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The professional duty of care owed under the circumstances depends on the specific situation, but generally, your provider must have abided by the accepted practices of other providers in the same specialty in Syracuse. For example, if other reasonably competent Syracuse primary care physicians would have ordered an endoscopy and other tests due to your presentation with significant rectal bleeding, but your primary care doctor did not, he may have breached the professional duty of care. For another example, if you are already under the care of a gastroenterologist because you have inflammatory bowel disease, you may have a greater risk of colorectal cancer, making it important that you go through certain screenings; if your doctor did not recommend the screenings other reasonably prudent gastroenterologists in Syracuse would have and your cancer progressed, further investigation of whether there was malpractice may be warranted.

We will need to retain an expert when working up your case to determine what the professional standards of care was under the circumstances. Sometimes, when cases are being prepared for trial, it becomes clear multiple experts are needed, not only on the question of professional duty but also damages, and we seek out those opinions when appropriate to make your case as strong as possible.

Your damages can be reduced by an amount equal to your proportion of fault. This occasionally comes up in cancer malpractice cases. For example, if you declined screenings that would have allowed your doctor to diagnose rectal cancer and as a result your treatment was delayed and you were harmed, you may bear some responsibility for that delay or failure to diagnose. In a case where comparative negligence is raised, if your damages were $500,000, and you were found 20% responsible for your own harm, you may only be able to recover $400,000 from the at-fault provider.


Damages may include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses may include lost wages, medical expenses, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic losses include pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Hire a Seasoned Cancer Malpractice Lawyer

If you need to seek legal representation were harmed by a failure to diagnose rectal cancer, give the tenacious Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys a call. We seek best results for cancer patients and their families in Canandaigua, Cooperstown, Lowville, Oneida, Lyons, Wampsville, Rochester, Elmira, Utica, Auburn, Ithaca, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Binghamton, Buffalo, Albany, and all of Upstate New York. Complete our online form or call us at 833-200-2000 for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY