Seven years ago, a 44-year-old woman went to the doctor because she was suffering from vomiting, cramping, diarrhea and other symptoms. Doctors looked at her age and diagnosed her with the flu. The medical professionals did not conduct any tests of the woman to determine whether or not she had colorectal cancer, essentially because of her age. The doctors reportedly thought the woman was too young for that type of cancer.
The woman did not improve after the flu diagnosis. In fact she eventually had to stop working. Sometime later, she saw a specialist who ordered a colonoscopy. The specialist determined that the woman had Stage II colorectal cancer. The tumor was blocking the majority of the woman's colon and had grown through her intestinal wall by the time the cancer was properly diagnosed.
Some sources say that misdiagnosis of cancer among young people with colorectal cancer may be on the rise. Doctors say that colon cancer among people under 50 is becoming more common. Overall, doctors say that colorectal cancer is on the decline and has been since the 1980s. It contrast to the overall trend, research says that colorectal cancer is hitting more people in their 40s than ever before.
Any cancer can be a serious diagnosis for a patient. But misdiagnosing cancer can have devastating consequences for a patient. Most people in Arizona understand that early detection is highly important for most cancers. Missing the diagnosis can allow the cancer to spread, diminishing treatment options and increasing the risk of death.
Source: Baltimore Sun, "More younger people getting colorectal cancer," Andrea K. Walker, July 29, 2012
- Our firm handles medical malpractice cases in Arizona. For more information on the firm, please visit our Arizona failure to diagnose cancer page.