Colon cancer is a leading cause of death across the country. Like a majority of cancers, it does not show any real signs of being there until it advances, making it hard to diagnose early and increasing the odds of misdiagnosis. New York patients could stay informed about the disease to help avoid being misdiagnosed with other conditions such as hemorrhoids.

Usually not a serious condition, hemorrhoids can generally be treated with natural over-the-counter products or basic home remedies. They usually cause discomfort during bowel movements, but this discomfort typically goes away. Hemorrhoids can also cause irritation or itchiness near the anus, a lump or swelling near the anus, blood in the stool, or discomfort or pain when sitting for long periods.

Although a common disease, colon cancer only develops in one of 20 people. It can cause persistent blood in the stool, bowel movement changes, lower abdominal pain and unexpected weight changes, particularly weight loss.

Since the symptoms of hemorrhoids and colon cancer are similar, there is a chance for misdiagnosis, especially if the doctor does not do proper testing. Complicating the diagnosis are other common conditions, such as fissures and inflammatory bowel disease, that also cause pain, discomfort and blood in the stools. This is why it is important that patients talk to their doctors about all of their symptoms and when they notice that their symptoms have changed. For example, they should notify their doctors if they were not initially experiencing blood in their stool but begin to see it regularly. This can minimize the odds of a misdiagnosis.

Some patients, however, notify their doctors of symptoms and take the initiative to ask about colon cancer. If their doctors ignore their concerns and never schedule proper testing, or if their doctors do the proper tests but are negligent when they interpret the results, they may want to discuss their situation with a medical malpractice attorney if their conditions have worsened as a result.


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