Screening for Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the polyps in the colon or rectum. If a screening is performed early on, any abnormal growths can be removed prior to becoming cancerous. An early screening for colon cancer could strongly impact your prognosis as a patient with a risk of developing colon or rectal cancer. Unfortunately, screening for colon cancer is not always conducted. If you were not screened and suffered significant harm or a loved one died [link to wrongful death] as the result of a failure to screen, the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to represent you in a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is crucial to retain a trial attorney that understands how best to seek good outcomes for clients with cancer. These cases can be highly technical. Our lawyers have 30 years of experience fighting for injured patients and we regularly work with experts to figure out how best to persuasively present necessary technical information to a jury.Screening for Colon Cancer
Generally, if you are age 50 or older, your doctor should be screening you for colorectal cancer regularly. However, different organizations have slightly different screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society recommends that regular screenings for those with average risk of colorectal cancer start their screenings at age 45. Other organizations recommend regular screenings commence at 50. You may need to be screened earlier, however, if you have a family history of colon cancer.
You are considered to be of average risk under the American Cancer Society guidelines if you don’t have: a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, or a personal history of receiving radiation to the abdomen or pelvis to treat another type of cancer.
There are different types of screening tests including a colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and a high sensitivity fecal occult blood test. Assuming you have a life expectancy of at least 10 years more, you will need regular screenings through the age of 75. From ages 76 – 85, the decision to be screened will depend on other factors, including your preferences, but those over 85 no longer need to be screened.Failure to Screen
Your doctor should act as a reasonably competent doctor in Syracuse in the same specialty would in connection with your colon cancer screening. Each case is a little different. Generally, however, screening should be conducted even on those with only an average risk of colon cancer, and certainly on those with a high risk according to applicable guidelines. Stool-based tests or visual structural exams may need to be performed and they need to be performed at different intervals, though there is an importance to getting screened regardless of the test used. Highly sensitive fecal immunochemical tests may need to be performed every year, while a multi-targeted stool DNA test may need to be performed every three years. A colonoscopy, which is visual, may need to be performed every 10 years. A flexible sigmoidoscopy may need to be performed every five years.
When an abnormal test result is received, a colonoscopy should occur in a timely fashion. If your doctor either failed to conduct the screening or failed to further test and diagnose you once there was an abnormal test result, you may have grounds to sue for medical malpractice.Medical Malpractice
Not every mistake counts as medical malpractice. In order to establish your entitlement to damages in a failure to diagnose or treat colon cancer case, our lawyers will need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) your provider departed from the professional standard of care, (3) causation, (4) actual damages. The professional standard of care depends on what other reasonably competent Syracuse doctors in the same specialty would do under the same or similar circumstances.Seeking the Best Outcome with Colon Cancer Malpractice
If you were harmed or a loved one died due to a failure to screen or test for colon cancer in Syracuse, you should call our veteran trial lawyers. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents clients in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation.