14 Feb

Diagnosing Rectal Cancer

If you or your loved one has suffered because doctors did not diagnose rectal cancer in a timely fashion, you could be in a position to make a claim. To find out more, you need to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.

Timely diagnosis of rectal cancer

Like all cancers, the prognosis for rectal cancer depends upon how deeply the tumour has invaded the tissue and surrounding lymph nodes. If the disease is caught in the early stages, treatment will be much less invasive and much more effective. But if the tumour mass is allowed to grow until it emerges from the peri-anal region, the prognosis for recovery will be poor.

Therefore it is extremely important doctors diagnose rectal cancer as early as possible. Of course this will not always be possible, especially if a patient does not seek medical attention until the condition is in the advanced stages. However, questions will be raised if a patient does attend his or her GP with the classic symptoms of rectal cancer, but a diagnosis is not made until many months down the line.

Although you may believe such a lengthy delay in diagnosis to be unlikely, it does unfortunately happen. Cases over the past 25 years have involved patients complaining to their GPs of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss and changes in defecation – all of which are the typical symptoms of rectal cancer. But despite the characteristic signs being present, a diagnosis is not made in a timely fashion. This might be because:-

– A GP does not refer a patient for further investigation;
– There is a delay in performing a colonoscopy;
– The colonoscopy results are not accurately assessed;
– A referral to a specialist is not made.

Claiming for delayed diagnosis of rectal cancer

If this has happened to you or your loved one, you need to talk to a solicitor about the treatment you have received. This is because if a delay in diagnosis increased the amount of pain and suffering you have been caused, and affected the prognosis for recovery, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. This means doctors failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, therefore breaching their duty towards you. You will therefore be legally entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss this has caused.

To discuss claiming compensation for a delayed rectal cancer diagnosis, please get in touch with a medical negligence solicitor today.

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