Person Learns He Has Advanced Colon Cancer Even Though His Doctor Knew Of Symptoms For Years

By: J. Hernandez | Posted: 23rd June 2010

Colon cancers on occasion bleed. In certain cases, the blood may show up in the stool. IN those circumstances in which the cancer is near the rectum, the blood may even surface as bright red. Regardless of whether the blood cannot be seen, the bleeding may be detectible in other ways. As an example, the loss of blood might appear as anemia. Blood tests might show internal loss of blood that could be due to cancer in the colon. The key blood test results to check are the hemoglobin, hematocrit, and Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) levels. Levels below the normal range might signify blood loss and iron deficiency anemia. When a person has levels that are below normal levels for these tests physicians normally acknowledge that there should be additional testing to discover the explanation for the blood loss, such as the chance of cancer of the colon.

Consider the case of a 64 year old man whose blood tests exhibited all of the above. The subsequent year, the person's blood work showed a worsening of the person's problem. Additionally, the man's stools were found to be positive for blood. Without any more testing, the indivual's physician wrote a diagnosis of hemorrhoids into the person's chart. Additionally, the individual's PSA level (a test that is used to screen males for prostate cancer) was a 10.3 (a level above a 4.0 is often regarded as high and worrisome for prostate cancer). The physician did not put any report in the patient's record to indicate an examination of the prostate gland. The physician failed to relay to the individual about the high PSA levels and did not refer the patient to a specialist.

Roughly two years after the person was seen by a different doctor. Given the person's age this doctor ordered a barium enema. The result: a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. The individual died of metastatic colon cancer less than 3 years following his diagnosis. The person's family filed a lawsuit against the physician who ignored the patient's abnormally low blood test results and overlooked the existence of blood in the man's stool. The law firm that handled the lawsuit reported a settlement in the case in the amount of $1,250,000

Blood tests are done for a reason. Abnormal test results suggest that there may be something wrong, maybe dangerously wrong with the person and call for follow up. At times follow up means repeating the blood test in just a short period of time to see if the levels improve. Yet if the levels deviate enough from normal levels or keep getting worse, doctors ordinarily acknowledge that this increases the need to order proper supplemental tests to find out the explanation for those levels. Doctors further typically concur that blood in the stool of an adult person mandates fast attention to eliminate the possibility of colon cancer as the reason. A colonoscopy is usually used to examine the entire colon and either find or exclude the existence of any tumors. This physician did none of this.

Although many claims that settle do so with no admission of liability by defendants it is not surprising that the law firm that worked on this case reported such a substantial settlement.

You can learn more about cases involving advanced colon cancer and other cancer matters including metastasized breast cancer by visiting his website
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Tags: blood tests, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, loss of blood, blood loss, prostate cancer, prostate gland, iron deficiency anemia, iron deficiency, blood work, low blood