In a number of cases colon cancers bleed. In certain cases, the blood might be visible in the stool. IN those circumstances in which the cancer is near the rectum, the blood may even surface as bright red. Even when the blood is not visible, it might nonetheless be possible to discover that the person is bleeding in other ways. As an example, the loss of blood may appear as anemia. Blood tests may show internal blood loss that may be the result of a tumor in the colon. Crucial blood test results to evaluate are the hemoglobin, hematocrit, and Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) levels. Low levels might signal blood loss and iron deficiency anemia. When a patient is found to have levels that are below normal levels for these tests physicians normally recognize that there ought to be additional testing to discover the cause of the blood loss, including the chance of cancer of the colon.
Consider the matter of a sixty four year old man whose blood tests revealed all of the above. The next year, the patient’s blood work revealed a worsening of the individual’s problem. Furthermore, a guaiac test found that there was blood in the patient’s stool. Yet, doing no other testing, the patient’s doctor entered a diagnosis of hemorrhoids into the man’s record. Also, the person’s PSA level (a test that is used to screen males for prostate cancer) was a 10.3 (a level above a 4.0 is generally thought to be high and suggestive of possible prostate cancer). The physician made no mention in the individual’s record to document an having examined the prostate gland. The physician failed to tell him about the high PSA levels and did not refer the individual to a specialist.
Roughly 2 years after the person went to a different doctor. Due to the man’s age this doctor ordered a barium enema. The result: a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. The person passed away from metastatic colon cancer within three years after his diagnosis. The individual’s family filed a lawsuit against the physician who ignored the patient’s abnormally low blood test results and ignored the presence of blood in the man’s stool. The law firm that handled the lawsuit was able to report that it settled for $ 1.25 million.
Blood tests are done for a reason. Abnormal test outcomes suggest that something might be wrong, possibly even dangerously wrong with the patient and require follow up. At times follow up means repeating the blood test in just a brief amount of time to see if the levels return to normal. But when the levels are sufficiently above or below normal levels or continue to worsen, physicians normally agree that this increases the need to order proper additional tests to find out the explanation for those levels. Doctors also usually concur that blood in the stool of an adult person mandates immediate attention to rule out colon cancer as the reason. A colonoscopy is most frequently ordered to examine all the colon and either locate or rule out the existence of any tumors. This physician did none of this.
Despite the fact that 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.