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Bowel Cancer Claims (Colorectal Cancer)
Bowel cancer is the general name given to cancer that begins in the large bowel, although it can also be called colon or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer starts. If you have suffered from bowel cancer and this was misdiagnosed or you believe it should have been picked up sooner, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. The clinical negligence team at JMW is highly experienced in dealing with cases of this type and we are here to support you throughout the process.
Speak to a member of the team today about your bowel cancer claim and we can provide more information about what will happen next and can answer any questions you have. Call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back as soon as we can.
Cancers of the colon and rectum are the second most common cause of death from cancer in the western world. Around 30,000 new cases are diagnosed in England and Wales each year. Early presentation and diagnosis is critical to prevent spread of the tumour, therefore improving prognosis.
If you feel that your bowel cancer should have been diagnosed sooner, or if your cancer was misdiagnosed, you should speak to a specialist solicitor about whether you may be entitled to compensation.
Bowel cancer typically begins in the large bowel, although it can occur in the small intestine. This, however, is much rarer. Bowel Cancer is one of the most common forms and around one in every 20 people in the UK will develop it at some point in their lifetime.
The early stages of this type of cancer may not cause symptoms but a change of bowel habit is the most common presenting feature. Other symptoms may include:
- Intermittent abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
Anaemia may also develop through hidden bleeding. Incomplete opening of the bowel or the feeling of wanting to continuously defecate may be a sign of rectal cancer.
However these symptoms can be common and may be caused by something other than bowel cancer. Most people who are diagnosed with the disease will suffer from a combination of symptoms, such as one of the following:
- Persistent bowel habit changes involving looser stools, more frequent visits to the toilet and blood in or on the stools
- Persistent bowel habit changes not involving blood in the stools but including abdominal pain
- Eating always resulting in abdominal pain, bloating or discomfort, sometimes leading to a reduction in food eaten
- Blood in the stools, but with no haemorrhoid symptoms present, such as discomfort, itching, soreness or a lump hanging down outside the back passage
Bowel cancer may be diagnosed in a number of different ways, depending on the location of the tumour. Ways include:
- Presenting to your GP with any of the symptoms as suggested above
- An abdominal and rectal examination, which may reveal a palpable mass. This would merit an urgent referral to a specialist
Where symptoms have persisted for more than six weeks but no mass can be detected, an urgent referral should still be made because the specialist will need to carry out further investigations to make a prompt and correct diagnosis.
These investigations may include a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, which involves a flexible tube being inserted into the bowel. Any abnormality can be seen through a small camera and biopsies can be taken.
An enema containing dye may also be used and this will show up any abnormalities on an X-ray. Following diagnosis, urgent and correct management of the tumour is essential and spread to other organs, for example the liver or lungs, is a risk if diagnosis or treatment is delayed.
Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment. The tumour and affected part of the bowel can be removed, and if this is undertaken promptly the risk of the tumour spreading will be reduced. Following surgery, the pathology laboratory will stage the tumour and appropriate management of further treatment can be decided. This may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both.
Certain factors can mean you are predisposed to being at greater risk of suffering from bowel cancer at some point in your life. These include:
- Being genetically linked to the disease
- Previous history of carcinoma or adenoma
- History of inflammatory bowel disease
- Polyposis (a group of several polyps)
As well as the above predisposing factors, you can also put yourself at greater risk of bowel cancer if you:
- Are obese
- Lead a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a poor diet
- Have a high calorie intake
- Have a high protein intake
- Have a high animal fat intake
- Have high alcohol consumption
- Have low fibre intake
You are also at higher risk as you get older, with those aged 50 and over the most likely to suffer from bowel cancer.
Our specialist bowel cancer negligence solicitors have won thousands of pounds in compensation for clients whose cancers have gone undetected or untreated. We can provide the advice and guidance you need to make sure you have every chance of securing a sum that can make a real difference as you look to move forward with your life.
The clinical negligence team at JMW is highly regarded throughout the UK and is headed by leading solicitor Eddie Jones. It includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.