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Failure to Diagnose Rectal Cancer

Attorneys Helping Injured Clients in Baltimore

Rectal cancer, which is cancer that begins in the last several inches of the large intestine, is one of the most common malignancies in the United States. Rectal cancer generally has a high survival rate when it is diagnosed at an early stage, but if it is not identified until it has spread outside of the rectum, the rate decreases. Frequently, a delayed or missed rectal cancer diagnosis is the result of the negligence of a patient’s physician, and doctors who fail to provide their patients with competent care should be held accountable. If you were hurt by a doctor’s failure to diagnose rectal cancer, you could be owed compensation, and you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are proficient at aiding injured patients in the pursuit of damages from their treatment providers, and if you engage our services, we will advocate assertively on your behalf.

Signs and Symptoms of Rectal Cancer

Rectal cancer usually develops from benign growths called polyps that mutate over time. Polyps are usually identified and monitored via colonoscopies. In many instances, polyps are the only indicator that a person is at risk for developing cancer, but some people with rectal cancer develop blood in the stool. Typically, if a patient presents with bloody stool, a doctor will perform follow-up testing to assess whether cancer is present. Routine blood tests may indicate that additional testing is necessary as well. It is also important that a doctor obtain and evaluate a patient’s medical history, as advanced age, family history of cancer, and symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating may signal that a doctor should test for rectal cancer.

Recovering Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Rectal Cancer

Usually, a doctor’s failure to diagnose a patient with rectal cancer arises out of neglect. Doctors who carelessly decline to perform their professional duties can be held liable for the losses they cause, however, and many injured patients choose to pursue medical malpractice claims. The majority of medical malpractice lawsuits assert that the defendant acted negligently. In Maryland, establishing a doctor was negligent first requires proof of the standard of care, which is the care that a reasonable physician that works in the same practice area as the defendant would render in a similar situation. Usually, the plaintiff must produce evidence of the standard of care via the testimony of a qualified medical expert.

After demonstrating the applicable standard, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant had a duty to comply with the standard but that the defendant’s actions or failure to act constitute a breach of the standard. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the plaintiff is required to prove that, had the defendant complied with the standard of care, the plaintiff would not have suffered injuries and the defendant’s acts were a significant force in bringing about the plaintiff’s losses. Expert testimony is often required to show the defendant’s breach and to link the plaintiff’s damages to the defendant’s actions as well. A plaintiff that establishes a defendant committed medical malpractice may be awarded compensation for the cost of any necessary medical care, lost wages or loss of earnings, and damages for the trauma and suffering endured due to the harm suffered.

Meet With an Experienced Attorney in Baltimore

People with rectal cancer often have a good prognosis if they are diagnosed at an early stage, but if they are not tested or diagnosed in a timely manner, their chance of survival will likely decrease. If you were harmed by a physician’s failure to diagnose rectal cancer, you may be able to pursue damages, and it is advisable to speak to a lawyer. The experienced attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are skilled at handling challenging claims, and if you hire us, we will gather the facts and evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable result. We regularly represent people hurt by medical malpractice in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can contact us via our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.