Patients in South Carolina who have colorectal cancer may face the danger of misdiagnosis, especially if they develop the cancer at a younger age. According to a survey conducted by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the majority of patients who were diagnosed with the cancer before the age of 50 were initially misdiagnosed with another illness. Colorectal cancer has been on the decline among older Americans, but the cancer has become more common among younger people, researchers said. They said that it was unclear why this trend is taking place.
When doctors fail to diagnose cancer early on, the disease may progress forward to the point of significantly worsened health or even a terminal condition. Many of the younger patients were eventually diagnosed with colorectal cancer only after their disease reached an advanced stage. This means that their treatment regimen is even more aggressive, and their survival rates are significantly poorer. The survey involved 1,195 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age. While 57 percent were diagnosed between ages 40 and 49, 33 percent were diagnosed in their 30s, and 10 percent received a diagnosis before age 30.
While colorectal cancer patients over 50 were more likely to be diagnosed at stages I or II, 71 percent of those under 50 were diagnosed at stage III or IV. Many people waited to see their doctors because they did not think they would have colorectal cancer; even so, 67 percent saw at least two doctors before finally reaching the correct diagnosis.
While colorectal cancer can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are easily confused with other disorders, delays and misdiagnoses can cost lives. People who have suffered a worsened medical condition as a result of a doctor error might consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the potential to seek compensation for their damages.