Discovering that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer is a scary time in anyone’s life. But that fear can be compounded by regret and anger if you learn that a cancer diagnosis was initially missed due to medical negligence. Delayed diagnosis can greatly reduce chances of survival.

At Kline & Specter, PC, we understand how upsetting it can be when your doctor makes an error that results in serious injury or even death to you or a loved one. With more than 40 lawyers, five of whom are also doctors, we can assist with colon cancer cases. Call our offices directly at 800-243-1100 to schedule a free consultation.

Early Detection, Symptoms and Statistics

In many cases, especially colon cancer cases, early detection is vital to long-term survival. Occurring in the large intestine, colon and rectum, colorectal cancer is no different. This disease is due to the abnormal reproduction of cells that are able to invade or spread to other parts of the body, often at a rapid rate. Most cases of colon cancer start out as small, benign cellular clumps called adenomatous polyps. Surgically removing polyps before they become cancerous may help prevent colon cancer. If left untreated, these polyps can grow, become cancerous and spread to other parts of the body.

More than 90 percent of individuals diagnosed when colon cancer is discovered at a local stage (limited to colon or rectum) survive more than five years. If the cancer is diagnosed at a regional stage (spread to surrounding tissue or lymph nodes) the rate drops to 70 percent. And if the cancer has gone undetected before spreading to distant sites such as liver or lungs, the rate of five-year survival plummets to 13 percent. Signs and symptoms can include:

  • A change in bowel habits, including constipation or diarrhea, a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely, or a change in stool consistency
  • Bloody stool or rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort
  • Incessant weakness or fatigue

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Each year, about 130,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer, and 56,000 people die from the disease.

Colon Cancer Case Study No. 1: In a tragic case of misdiagnosis, a Kline & Specter client went to see a doctor about rectal bleeding issues that had been going on for six months. The doctor misdiagnosed the case, had the patient treated for hemorrhoids, and never ordered a colonoscopy. Just more than two years later, the patient died from advanced colon cancer that had spread to his lungs. A Delaware County jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding his widow with $8.25 million (See the Labricciosa Case).

Colon Cancer Case Study No. 2: In 2012, the firm won a $3 million Philadelphia jury verdict for a woman who suffered nerve damage as a result of a missed colon cancer diagnosis. It was proven that a 22-month delay in treatment resulted in her colon cancer progressing from a localized tumor (Stage I or II) to a Stage III. She consequently had to undergo surgery and chemotherapy that caused nerve damage, neuropathy and permanent muscle and joint pain (Goncalves).

If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or death due to colon cancer, you may have a legal claim. Kline & Specter has the expertise to review your potential colon cancer lawsuit. Call us at 800-243-1100 to speak with a colon cancer attorney today for a free evaluation of your case. We represent clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide.