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Treatment Options for Colon Cancer

Syracuse Lawyers for Oncology Malpractice

Colon cancer or colorectal is a common form of cancer in the United States that impacts both men and women. When doctors detect colon cancer at an early stage through preventative screening, they have a better chance at reaching a successful outcome. If you believe that your physician did not present you with appropriate treatment options for colon cancer, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Because medical malpractice cases can turn into battles between expert witnesses, retaining seasoned lawyers who understand the technical issues and can anticipate how medical experts will perform during trial provides a strategic advantage. Insurers will take your claim more seriously if your attorney has a strong trial reputation.

Treatment Options for Colon Cancer

The colon, also known as the large intestine, is the last portion of the digestive tract. Often, colon cancer begins as a little, noncancerous, and even sometimes asymptomatic, group of cells known as polyps, which form inside the colon and can turn cancerous. However, if doctors detect the polyps early through screening, they can remove them prior to becoming cancerous. Treatments for cancerous polyps in the colon include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, drug treatment, surgery, and radiation, or some combination of these.

Once a doctor has diagnosed a patient with colon cancer, the doctor may order additional staging tests such as pelvic, abdominal and chest CT scans. There are five stages of cancer, stage 0 - IV. Stage 0 cancer is early and limited to the colon lining. Stage IV cancer is considered advanced and has spread. Treatment should commence even if the stage is not completely certain, since the stage may not be clear until after surgery. The type and stage of colorectal cancer will determine the treatment options.

Colon Cancer Malpractice Liability

When one or more doctors makes a mistake in staging or treating colon cancer and this causes injury or death, it may be appropriate to bring a lawsuit for damages. To recover damages, you’ll need to establish medical malpractice. This requires you to prove by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) departure from the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. In most cases, you will need to retain an expert even before suing to provide an opinion about what the professional standard of care is for specialists in the same specialty and geographic region as the defendant health care provider.

The actionable treatment error may involve a failure to stage the colon cancer as another reasonably competent oncologist or other specialist would have done. However, it could also include errors related to diagnosis, providing the wrong treatment, given the type and stage of colon cancer, or not treating the colon cancer aggressively enough. Along with the complaint, your lawyer will need to provide a certificate of merit attesting that they have consulted with a licensed doctor who is knowledgeable in the treatment issues in your case. The consultant will review your medical records and facts.

Your attorney should only bring a case if a reasonable basis exists for asserting the claim. For instance, if your cancer metastasized [Link to Metastatic Cancer page] and required more painful and expensive treatment because your surgeon failed to remove some polyps that a reasonably competent surgeon would have removed, you may have a reasonable basis to pursue your lawsuit. Similarly, if a reasonably competent oncologist in Syracuse would have aggressively treated your father’s cancer while his physician pursued a milder treatment based on a staging error that your father only had stage 1 cancer, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages.

Consult an Experienced Syracuse Lawyer

If you were not properly advised on treatment options for colon cancer, you should discuss whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim with our seasoned attorneys. We represent colon cancer patients and their families across upstate New York in Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown, Lowville, Oswego, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Ithaca, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

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