Bowel and colon cancer misdiagnosis compensation solicitors.
Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.
Even in the 21st century, we hear all too often from patients who have suffered a late diagnosis of bowel or colon cancer where the problem could, and should, have been found earlier.
The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence’s, guidelines for referral periods and suspected bowel cancer patients, are that referral should be made from GP, to a Gastroenterologist within two weeks. Failure to follow recognition and referral guidelines would constitute as negligent care by a health care provider. If you suffer as a result of the healthcare provider’s breach, then you may be able to claim for compensation, on a no win no fee basis, with MG Legal’s specialist team of solicitors.
What are the most common causes of delays in bowel cancer cases?
The exact cause of bowel cancer is not known, and can be a mix of our daily habits, our environment, and family history. But what are the most common causes of our medical practitioners delaying in their diagnosis of bowel cancer?
Once again, with all the modern technology medical practitioners have at their disposal, when the most common symptoms of bowel cancer are related to our medical practitioners, these being symptomatic iron deficiency anaemia, rectal bleeding, change in bowel habit, abdominal pain and weight loss, it was human error that caused the delay in bowel cancer being diagnosed in the patient.
Incomplete imaging of the colon in patients with sinister presenting symptoms was the most commonly identified factor in delay of diagnosis. Other errors, again, unfortunately all being completely avoidable if the medical practitioner had followed guidelines, were, a failure to recognise symptoms, such as pain and passing blood; failure to carry out adequate examinations or tests on attendance at the GP surgery, failure to advise a patient to return if their symptoms persist or worsen, and once again, mistakes by radiologists.
Bowel cancer, if diagnosed early is treatable. However, there are four stages of bowel cancer, and if medical misdiagnosis, or delayed medical diagnosis, has allowed the cancer to evolve, spread, and be far harder to treat, then contact our offices to discuss how we can help you.
The Stages, as given by the NHS are as follows:
Stage 1 – the cancer is still contained within the lining of the bowel or rectum;
Stage 2 – the cancer has spread beyond the layer of muscle surrounding the bowel and may have entered the surface covering the bowel or nearby organs;
Stage 3 – the cancer has spread into nearby lymph nodes;
Stage 4 – the cancer has spread beyond the bowel into another part of the body, such as the liver
Do I have a claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis?
The 3 main symptoms of bowel cancer are:
Blood in your poo – that continues for a period of time, and is consistent. Blood will be present when you go to the toilet, and there will be no other reason for the blood that you can think of, such as a drastic change in your eating habits, or one meal that you have eaten that may have disagreed with you.
Change in your bowel habit – such as needing to visit the toilet more than usual, and this is not just over a day or so, and cannot be related to a gastro type illness, or something that you may have eaten or drank.
Abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating or discomfort – that's always caused when eating and may be associated with loss of appetite or significant unintentional weight loss;
Our bodies are a very complex thing, especially our stomachs, and the symptoms of bowel cancer can often be very similar to other conditions, leading to medical practitioners to misdiagnose bowel cancer as haemorrhoids (piles), or due to a change in our eating habits.
Most of us eat at least 3 meals a day, so when we attend our GP, to recite what we have eaten for the last few days can often be tricky, leaving our medical practitioners, scratching their heads, and wondering what we are suffering with. However, as any delays in diagnosing bowel cancer can be devastating, with around 7,500 ladies suffering from terminal bowel cancer in 2017, with around 9,000 male deaths in the same year, bowel cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
Most people with bowel cancer can be diagnosed by flexible sigmoidoscopy. However, some cancers can only be diagnosed by a more extensive examination of the colon. The two tests used for this are colonoscopy and computerised tomography (CT) colonography.
When you first see your GP, complaining of persistent blood in your poo, a drastic change in your toilet habits, and you have concerns that you do not think you can relate to a change in diet, or recent change in lifestyle, the procedure they should carry out is as follows:
Your GP should ask questions about your symptoms, and whether you have a family history of bowel cancer. They should also ask questions about your lifestyle, your alcohol intake, if you smoke, and ask for details of your regular eating habits and diet;
Your GP should carry out a physical examination. They'll usually carry out a simple examination of your bottom, known as a digital rectal examination (DRE), and examine your abdomen;
To ensure that you have peace of mind, and that you are not suffering from the early stages of bowel cancer, your GP should, at this stage, also check your blood to see if you have iron deficiency anaemia;
We all know that we all want to be as fit and healthy as possible, and bringing a compensation claim for Bowel and Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis, is necessary to see that the same thing doesn’t happen to another person, and that you the
compensation you receive helps you to move on with your life, and to make your future as easy as possible, bearing in mind the awful situation you have gone through, at no fault of your own.
With this in mind, when we attend our GP, we can help them, and ourselves, by doing the following:
Tell your GP all of your symptoms. Write down your symptoms including when they started, when they happen and how often you have them, then you don’t forget anything;
See your GP If you have 1 or more of the symptoms of bowel cancer and they have persisted for more than 4 weeks;
Write down if anything makes them worse or better;
Tell your GP if you are worried about cancer in particular;
Tell them if you have any family history of cancer;
If your symptoms suggest you may have bowel cancer or the diagnosis is uncertain, then your GP must refer you to your local hospital so that you can undergo an examination, called a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
A small number of cancers can only be diagnosed by a more extensive examination of the colon. The 2 tests used for this are colonoscopy or CT colonography.
Emergency referrals, such as people with bowel obstruction, will be diagnosed by a CT scan.
Those with severe iron deficiency anaemia and few or no bowel symptoms are usually diagnosed by colonoscopy.If you are suffering symptoms believed to be bowel cancer, and your GP does not make the necessary referral to hospital, or you have been referred to hospital and the correct tests are not carried out, such as CT colonography, also known as a "virtual colonoscopy, colonoscopy, or Flexible sigmoidoscopy, then you may have a claim for Bowel and Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis compensation.
If you have any questions or queries about making medical negligence compensation claim, then please do not hesitate to contact our friendly medical negligence specialists, for a no obligation chat, at no cost to you.
How do I make a compensation claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis?
If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer negligence at the hands of a medical practitioner, then do not hesitate to contact MG Legal’s friendly team of expert medical negligence solicitors. We deal with medical negligence matters on a daily basis, and when you contact our offices, you will speak to a solicitor who empathises with your situation, will listen, and that advise you how we can help you, on a no win no fee basis. After speaking to a solicitor specialising in medical negligence matters, to start your no win no fee compensation claim, we will ask you to complete one our Claim Forms and one of our authorities, allowing our offices access to your medical notes, enabling us to build a successful claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis.
We ask that all documentation is returned to our offices within 7 days of receipt, enabling us to get the ball rolling, and ensure that we are fully aware of the date upon which the negligence occurred. Time is often of the essence, and usually, if you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, then you have three years from the date of the negligence, or from your knowledge that the medical practitioner’s negligence has caused your cancer to be misdiagnosed, or worsen, within which to pursue a claim for compensation. If you were under 18 years old when the negligence occurs, then you have three years from your 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. As always, we always advise potential clients to contact our offices as soon as they believe they may have a claim If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s medical negligence experts, as soon as possible after the incident - don’t leave getting in touch with our solicitors until the last minute.