In a number of situations colon cancers bleed. In certain cases, the blood may show up in the stool. When the cancer is close to the rectum, the blood might even appear as bright red. Regardless of whether the blood is not visible, the bleeding might still be detectible in other ways. As an example, the loss of blood may appear as anemia. Blood tests may uncover internal loss of blood that may be the consequence of a tumor in the colon. The key blood test results to check include the hemoglobin, hematocrit, and Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) levels. Levels below the normal range might reveal blood loss and iron deficiency anemia. When someone presents with levels that are below normal levels for these tests doctors generally acknowledge that there should be additional testing to determine the reason for the blood loss, like the possibility of cancer of the colon.
Look at the case of a 64 year old male patient whose blood tests exhibited all of the above. The subsequent year, the person’s blood work showed a deterioration of the individual’s problem. Additionally, a guaiac test showed the presence of blood in the patient’s stool. Yet, doing no additional testing, the person’s doctor added a diagnosis of hemorrhoids into the individual’s record. In addition, the patients PSA level (a test that is used to screen males for prostate cancer) was a 10.3 (anything above a 4.0 is often viewed as high and troubling for prostate cancer). The physician did not put any report in the mans chart to indicate an examination of the prostate gland. The doctor failed to relay to the person about the high PSA levels and failed to refer the individual to a specialist.
Roughly two years later the person went to a different doctor. Because of the mans age this physician had him undergo a barium enema. The result: a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. The person passed away from metastatic colon cancer not even 3 years following his diagnosis. The patient’s family initiated a case against the doctor who ignored the patients abnormally low blood test results and overlooked the existence of blood in the mans stool. The law firm that represented the family reported a settlement in the amount of $1,250,000
Blood tests are done for a reason. Abnormal test results suggest that something may be wrong, maybe even seriously wrong with the person and call for follow up. Sometimes follow up means repeating the blood test in just a short period of time to see whether the levels improve but when the levels deviate sufficiently from normal levels or continue to worsen, doctors usually recognize that this raises the need to order appropriate additional tests to determine the explanation for those levels. Physicians further normally consent that blood in the stool of an adult person calls for fast attention to rule out colon cancer as the cause. A colonoscopy is often used to look at all the colon and either locate or exclude the existence of any tumors. This physician failed to dor any of this.
Although settlements usually include no without any admission of liability by defendants it is no surprise that the law firm that handled this matter was able to report such a significant settlement.