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Increased Colon Cancer Diagnoses in Younger Patients Causes The American Cancer Society To Reccomend Earlier Screening

colon cancer diagnoses

Colorectal cancer is responsible for the second highest number of cancer-related deaths among Americans. While people over the age of 65 are most likely to receive colon cancer diagnoses, the rate at which younger people are diagnosed with rectal cancer and colon cancer has been rising. In order to catch slow-growing malignancies early enough that they can be cured, most doctors’ groups recommend colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50. It should be noted that despite the high cure rate for colon cancer when it is caught early, only two-thirds of Americans over 50 choose to do colorectal cancer screening.

In May, 2018 the American Cancer Society changed its recommended screening age from 50 to 45. Chief cancer control officer of the society, Dr. Richard Wender, cited “a sharp increase in deaths from colon and rectal cancers among men and women under age 50” as a big reason for the change.

Other factors included:

  • People diagnosed under the age of 50 are less likely to have known risk factors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity or a diet lacking fiber or high in fat.
  • A desire to reduce the risk of diagnostic errors by doctors who dismiss symptoms such as rectal bleeding because they believe the patient is too young to have colorectal cancer.

If you are 45 or older and have not been screened for colon cancer, speak to your doctor about your options.

Connection between failure to diagnose and treatment

Timely treatment is absolutely critical to curing any form of cancer but treatment is not possible without a diagnosis. A delayed diagnosis can lead to the need for a more invasive and expensive form of treatment such as chemotherapy or even wrongful death. A younger screening age recommendation may reduce the percentage of delayed diagnoses for the reason that a doctor believes the patient to be “too young” to have the condition.

Failure to diagnose claim

If you believe that your loved one lost their life or was adversely affected due to a failure to diagnose colorectal cancer, please contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. He or she will assess the circumstances and discuss your legal rights. The attorney may be able to fight for justice on your behalf by holding the negligent medical professional accountable through a settlement.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice and other types of negligence. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable accidents and medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors, prescription drug injuries and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.