What Is Bowel Cancer?
Cancer presents itself when cells divide and multiply rapidly, forming a tumour, a dangerous lump of tissue.
Bowel cancer is a type of cancer which initially develops in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer resides during growth, it may also be referred to as Colon, or Colorectal Cancer. If misdiagnosis should allow a tumour to develop, or should you be misdiagnosed and treated for bowel cancer in error, you may be able to claim for bowel cancer compensation.
What Are The Causes of Bowel and Colon Cancer?
Most cases of bowel and colon cancer develop in the inner lining of the bowel, where cells known as polyps begin to grow. These aren’t always cancerous, and may lie benign. It is unknown what causes the polyps to become cancerous; however, research shows that several factors may encourage the development of bowel cancer. These factors are:
- Family History- Evidence proves that often bowel and colon cancer can be hereditary, with the chance of contracting the disease rising by around 20% if a close relative has suffered from the disease.
- Diet- People with a diet high in red and processed meat have an increased risk of developing bowel cancer symptoms. A diet high in fibre and low in saturated fat helps to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.
- Smoking- Those who smoke are 25% more likely to develop bowel and colon cancer, than people who do not smoke. Smoking is thought to encourage cell mutation in the body.
- Alcohol- Alcohol has been connected to the development of bowel cancer and colon cancer. Drinking 2 units daily may increase the risk by 8%.
- Obesity- Obese people are 50% more likely to develop cancer of the bowel or colon than those of healthy BMI.
- Digestive Disorders- Other diseases linked to the digestive system like Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis may put people at a higher risk of developing bowel and colon cancer. It is crucial that these conditions are closely monitored.
When these causes are known by a GP, it is especially important that they are able to diagnose the presence of bowel cancer quickly and effectively. If this does not occur, especialy if they have prior knowledge of the risk factors which you may have, a bowel cancer claim may sometimes be built.
What Are Colon And Bowel Cancer Symptoms?
Bowel cancer and colon cancer symptoms are often missed by medical professionals, because early stages have few characteristic signs. Bowel and Colon Cancer can often be mistaken for less serious conditions, which can have devastating consequences. In the later stages, issues may continue as signs of bowel cancer seem similar to those of less serious conditions such as haemorrhoids. Doctors fail to complete the appropriate follow up tests, ruling out cancer as a possible threat.
The initial symptoms that present are:
- Blood found in stools, or bleeding from the rectum.
- Changes in normal bowel movements which persist longer than 3 weeks, such as diarrhoea, constipation, or a higher frequency of passing stool.
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
As bowel cancer progresses, bleeding inside the bowel may lead to anaemia from the lack of red blood cells. Symptoms of anaemia include:
In later stages, bowel cancer may cause an obstruction in the bowel, which presents obvious symptoms of pain and discomfort. These symptoms include:
- Feeling abnormally bloated
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
When these complications are worsened due to a missed diagnosis or incorrect treatment, you should consider consulting with our no win no fee solicitors, who may be able to build a bowel cancer compensation claim which will be difficult to defend against.
How Is Bowel and Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
If any of the symptoms listed above are present, it is crucial that a GP consultation is arranged immediately. During the consultation, the GP should begin the bowel cancer screening process by first carrying out a physical examination, known as a digital rectal examination. This involves the doctor gently placing their finger into the rectum, establishing if there are any noticeable lumps, or abnormalities. If bowel cancer is suspected, or the diagnosis is uncertain, a referral will be made to a specialist.
Further tests will include a sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy – a long tube with a camera and a light attached are inserted through the anus into areas of the bowel. This will relay pictures onto a monitor of the bowel, determining if there are any abnormalities or growths. Using this tube, doctors can remove part of any unusual tissues, submitting them testing to establish whether it is cancerous. This process is known as biopsy.
Once cancer has been confirmed, tests may be carried out to test whether the cancer has spread, confirming the best course of treatment. These may include CT scans.
How Should Bowel Cancer Be Treated?
Sufferers of bowel cancer should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, who will cooperate to provide the best course of treatment for their patient. This team may include a specialist cancer surgeon, oncologist (a radiotherapy and chemotherapy specialist), radiologist, pathologist, radiographer and a specialist nurse.
Depending on the size of the cancer, and its effect on patient health, the treatments for cancer will consist of any of the following:
- Biological therapy
Although surgery is the main treatment for bowel cancer; the cancer often isn’t caught early enough (or is misdiagnosed), leading to the cancer becoming too advanced and requiring different treatment.
Bowel and Colon Cancer Prognosis
As with most cases of cancer, chances of recovery depend on how far along the cancer has developed when diagnosed. If diagnosed early enough, the chances of surviving a further five years is 90%, and a complete cure is usually very likely. However, if bowel cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, the five year survival rate is by contrast 6%, with a complete cure very unlikely.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim?
A timely and correct diagnosis can lead to quick treatment, meaning the patient is subject to minimal suffering. Yet a delay in diagnosis, or misdiagnosis altogether, can allow bowel cancer to spread, become worse and damage other neighbouring organs, causing significant and unnecessary suffering – sadly even, in many cases, death.
If you feel a medical professional allowed bowel cancer to develop unnecessarily in your or a loved one’s case due to lack of diagnosis or misdiagnosis, you may be able to make a claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis compensation.
Our solicitors can provide expert claim advice in a FREE consultation if you are unsure; simply call 01204 521 133.
How Much Will I Get?
Everyon’e’s claim is entirely different, so it is difficult to advise accurately. However, our Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator may provide a rough estimate of what you may receive. These estimates are based on your injuries and also other factors, such as psychological problems and missed time at work.
‘No Win No Fee’
At Asons Solicitors, we have taken the risk out of making a claim for all of our clients, which is why over 98% of our claims are No Win No Fee. This way, we can allow everyone access to justice, regardless of their financial position. If you choose to make a claim with us, there are no upfront fees or unexpected costs, as we take on the risk for you.
More on ‘No Win, No Fee’ here.
Our Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Experience
Errors arising from cases of bowel cancer misdiagnosis hold dire repercussions for patients. At Asons, we understand the detrimental effect it has on victims as the cancer worsens while they mistakenly assume they have a less severe condition. This is coupled with the psychological stress from being let down by a trusted medical professional. We know that victims and their families are often hesitant to come forward with their claims. As medical negligence solicitors, it’s our job to do everything within our means to make the process as straightforward as possible when making a bowel cancer compensation claim. Our success rate is unparalleled in cases of this type, and we will always look to secure the compensation you require for all of your needs and to make amends for the complications caused by errors.
Bowel Cancer Resources
Our guide, How Will A Cancer Misdiagnosis Change Your Life? was written to provide information and guidance on how to deal with a cancer misdiagnosis, as well as highlighting the occurrence rates of these errors due to an overworked NHS. It also explains some more of the details about building a claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis compensation.
As with any claim, you may be worried about the potential costs of pursuing your clinical negligence case. To address this common concern, we have devised a variety of options to help you. We help acquire all the assistance that you are entitled to, whilst managing resulting compensation in the most beneficial way possible. We must remind you to be quick, however, as there are time limits in place for making claims of this kind.
We deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of substandard treatment, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will work to gather all of the appropriate paperwork and documentation, whilst speaking to the parties involved, substantiating your medical claim.