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Doctors Who Perform Colonoscopies Miss Many Colon Cancers

In a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers determined that doctors who perform colonoscopies miss as many as 40% of the colon cancers and pre-cancerous polyps that are present in the colons they examine.According to the new study, doctors who perform colonocopies miss just about every cancer in the right side of the colon and roughly a third of cancers in the left side of the colon.

Here are three things you can do to reduce the risk that your doctor will miss cancer in your colon:

1.  Make sure your doctor could see all of your colon.  After your colonoscopy ask your doctor if your bowel prep was adequate.  If your bowel prep was not adequate, ask your doctor to re-do your colonoscopy.

2.  Make sure your doctor was able to visualize your right colon.  Roughly 40% of all colon cancers arise in the right colon.  After your colonoscopy ask your doctor if he or she was able to visualize your right colon.  If your doctor was unable to examine your right colon then your colonoscopy was inadequate and your doctor should re-do your colonoscopy.

3.  Make sure your colonoscopy is being performed by one of the best doctors in your area.  There is a wide range of quality among doctors who perform colonoscopies.  High quality doctors find polyps in at least 25 percent of men and 15 percent of women. They take at least eight minutes to withdraw a colonoscope from the colon. And they typically do a high volume of screening (at least three or four colonoscopies a day).  Before you select a doctor to perform your colonoscopy, find out how the doctor stacks up against these benchmarks.

The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese have had a great deal of experience in cases where colon cancer was not diagnosed due to medical malpractice. If your colon cancer was missed or misdiagnosed or not diagnosed when it should have been, the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese will investigate your case, interview the doctors and nurses at the hospital involved, hire the top experts to review your medical care, and find out what really happened. Berger & Lagense specializes in medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Beaver, Erie, and Washington PA.