According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third leading killer of people nationwide. However, it often has no symptoms in its early stages, and the signs that do appear can be easily mistaken by Arizona patients or their doctors for less serious conditions, such as hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are a common and innocuous condition that can cause itching and irritation near the rectal area, pain when having a bowel movement and discomfort when sitting for long periods of time. People with hemorrhoids will often notice blood in their stool. However, this is also a common sign of colon and rectal cancers, and some people fail to seek medical attention because they wrongly assume the blood is from hemorrhoids.
Experts say each American has a one in 20 chance of developing colon or rectal cancer in their lifetime, and early diagnosis is critical to a person’s chances of survival. To that end, people should never assume that blood in the stool is caused by hemorrhoids or another relatively benign condition. People should always see a doctor if they experience rectal bleeding. They should also seek medical care if they experience other symptoms of colon cancer, such as a change in bowel movements, pain in the lower abdomen and unexplained weight loss.
Some people who seek medical care for cancer symptoms become victims of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. An Arizona resident who has experienced a worsened medical condition because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine the recourse that may be available for seeking damages for the losses that have been sustained.