Colorectal cancer misdiagnosed among younger patients

Ohioans under the age of 50 with colorectal cancer are more likely than their elder counterparts to be misdiagnosed, according to a study by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. The study indicated that 71 percent of colorectal cancer patients under age 50 have cancer at stage 3 or 4. On the other hand, patients over age 50 are more likely to have stage 1 or 2 cancer. The discrepancy has been blamed on misdiagnoses by doctors and other health care providers.

This type of cancer may be prone to misdiagnosis in young people because its symptoms are often attributed to other illnesses. Doctors might think the patient has inflammatory bowel syndrome or hemorrhoids based on symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue or constipation. Of the nearly 1,200 people who responded in the study, 63 percent said it took between three and 12 months before they were specifically checked for colorectal cancer.

Many of these respondents said they met with between two and four different doctors before they were accurately diagnosed. The director of the CCA and lead author of the study said people should be aware that colorectal cancer can occur at any age. Everyone should get tested if their bodies don't feel right. An at-home test showed promising results in finding colorectal cancer markers. It found between 75 and 80 percent of colorectal cancers among those who used it to test for the disease.

Misdiagnoses by doctors and health care facilities can lead to serious injuries or other damages for patients. Individuals who have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis might want to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. Medical malpractice injury attorneys might be able to help by conducting depositions or otherwise gathering evidence to build a case for trial. In some cases, a lawyer may successfully negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the at-fault parties.

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