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How misdiagnosis harms young cancer patients

Colorectal cancer is a serious illness most commonly seen in people over the age of 50. However, it’s also possible for a New Yorker to get this disease as a young person. Regrettably, the cancer is often misdiagnosed in younger adults. Proper diagnosis is complicated by the inconvenient fact that colorectal cancer (CC) shares symptoms with many other conditions. According to a recent study by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, misdiagnosis is too common and too often caused by negligence.

Typical symptoms of CC include chronic constipation, fatigue and unexplained weight loss. When these symptoms present in younger people, physicians may mistakenly issue diagnoses like inflammatory bowel syndrome or even hemorrhoids. A medical mistake of this type can prove fatal because it can delay vital treatment. To safeguard against misdiagnosis, young people should realize that no physician is perfect.

Patients are advised to listen to their bodies and act as their own health advocates. If a diagnosis and treatment regimen doesn’t seem to be working, it may be time for a second opinion.

Deaths and injuries stemming from malpractice are destabilizing events for victims and/or loved ones. Fortunately, the civil court system is designed to hold medical doctors responsible for their negligent mistakes. If a patient were to die after receiving a misdiagnosis, their surviving spouse might desire clarification about available legal options. Communicating with a good attorney can open the door to greater clarity and understanding. Though it is impossible to prejudge the ultimate length of any given civil suit, securing quality representation can immediately benefit anyone devastated by malpractice or personal injury. With the assistance of an attorney, a survivor can potentially receive appropriate compensation.