As you approach age 50, it’s a good idea to start scheduling routine colonoscopies, usually one per decade. However, colonoscopies are infrequent, and a lot can happen in ten years. Therefore, it’s important that those over age 50 are able to recognize the signs of colon cancer before the illness worsens or metastasizes. To help in this, we’ve put together some of the top warning signs of colon cancer.
Colon cancer is almost always the result of cancerous polyps within the colon. Identifying the difference between regular polyps and cancerous ones can be difficult, and since colonoscopies are so infrequent, it’s good to know the warning signs. If something is wrong, knowing the signs can help you take action as soon as possible.
Early Warning Signs of Colon Cancer
- Persistent fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent, uncomfortable feeling in bowels
- Feeling that bowels are not empty after using the restroom
- Persistent change in stool consistency, either constipation or diarrhea
- Blood in stool or rectal bleeding
Some of these warning signs are more obvious than others. If you experience rectal bleeding or consistently feel uncomfortable after using the restroom, schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist immediately.
Keep in mind that misses aren’t terribly uncommon. Because it’s sometimes difficult for doctors to identify the difference between types of polyps, delayed or missed diagnoses are more likely to occur in colon cancer cases.
Missed or Delayed Diagnosis
Time is of the essence in any cancer case. The sooner doctors identify the presence of colon cancer, the better your chances of early intervention and proper treatment.
Colon cancer is the third most common kind of cancer, and roughly 60% of colon cancer-related deaths could be prevented had doctors and patients identified the warning signs and intervened sooner.
If your doctor failed to identify the signs of colon cancer, you might have a case. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.