Colorectal cancer involves cancerous cell growth in the final portions of the gastrointestinal track—the colon and the rectum. When it comes to the various types of cancers, colorectal is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths. If caught early, however, this form of cancer is highly treatable.
More About Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer usually takes many years to develop and is often preceded by pre-cancerous polyps (small outgrowths of tissue) that line the colorectal wall. These polyps may bleed on and off for months or even years before any sign of cancer develops. Rectal bleeding and blood in the stool are common warning signs of colorectal cancer or pre-cancerous growth and should be immediately followed up on by both patients and physicians.
Causes of Colorectal Cancer
Some possible causes of colorectal cancer include:
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals (asbestos, radiation, etc.)
- Medical malpractice (failure to diagnose, errors, etc.)
- Drugs / Medications
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Screenings and Detection
People over the age of 50 are at increased risk of colorectal cancer and should be strongly encouraged by their physicians to undergo regular screening tests, as advised by the American Cancer Society. Early detection can mean the difference between a localized cancer that is easily treatable and one that has spread and become life threatening.
Doctors who fail to stress the importance of these tests to their patients, respond to patient symptoms of bleeding and discomfort, or investigate abnormal test results, can put their patients at serious risk. These doctors may be guilty of medical malpractice.
Contact an Attorney
If you or a love one is suffering from colorectal cancer you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced lawyer to learn more about your legal rights.