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Bowel Cancer Claims

Bowel Cancer Claims

If you or your loved one sought medical attention for the symptoms of bowel cancer but doctors failed to make a timely diagnosis, there will be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.

Diagnosing bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the UK and medical professionals should be very aware of the symptoms. These include:-

  • A change in bowel habits (such as increased frequency or constipation);
  • Blood present in the faeces;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Any patient who seeks medical attention for these symptoms should be suspected of having bowel cancer, no matter what their age.

Bowel cancer investigations

A GP should refer the patient with the symptoms of bowel cancer for further investigations. This will usually involve either a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy. Both procedures see a long, thin cable inserted into the colon via the anus. Attached to the end is a small camera that allows doctors to assess the colon for any abnormal lumps or lesions. If medical professionals cannot see anything unusual, the patient will be given the all clear.

Nevertheless, if a patient continues to suffer the aforementioned symptoms, bowel cancer should not be ruled out. It may be that the tumour was very small during the original tests and could not be detected. Therefore if a patient shows no sign of improvement, it is vigilant to carry out investigations for bowel cancer once again.

Failing to diagnose bowel cancer

A patient who is displaying the typical symptoms of bowel cancer should be diagnosed within weeks of seeking medical attention. There is very little reason why a diagnosis should be delayed: a patient's symptoms should prompt a referral to hospital for a colonoscopy (or similar procedure), and this should reveal the tumour. If a lesion cannot be seen but a patient's symptoms do not improve, a referral should be made once again.

If there is a significant delay in diagnosis, the level of care will have fallen to an unacceptable standard. If this prolongs a patient's pain and suffering, and/or hinders their chances of recovery, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. Although this will not undo the terrible damage that has been done, it will provide some form of recompense, and will provide financial support during what will undoubtedly be a difficult time.

To find out more about making a bowel cancer claim, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims.

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