Last Updated on May 7, 2024

Can I Sue If I've Been Diagnosed with Anal Cancer Late?

Patients may be eligible to sue medical staff if their anal cancer is diagnosed late. Anal cancer is fairly rare, but its incidence rate has been rising over the last several years. In 2024, about 10,540 new cases of anal cancer are expected. This disease is often found in older patients.

Negligent healthcare providers have an increased risk of missing a cancer diagnosis. According to a recent study, many cases of missed cancer diagnoses are rooted in errors made by primary physicians. These common errors include:

  • Inaccurate diagnosis of symptoms and test results
  • Failure to order necessary test procedures
  • Failure to refer patients to respective specialists

Patients can pursue further legal action if their cancer is diagnosed late by a negligent health provider. Conversely, patients who are provided with false-positive cancer diagnoses also have the right to sue, especially if they’ve been exposed to potentially harmful (due to their side effects) treatments or prescriptions. Medical facilities whose organizational errors led to cancer misdiagnosis may also be held liable.

How Do I Know If I Have Anal Cancer?

Bleeding is often the first indicator of anal cancer. However, In certain cases, the disease might not exhibit any symptoms right away. Other signs of anal cancer also include the following:

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Itching/irritation in or around the rectum
  • A lump of mass at the anal opening
  • Pain/discomfort in the anal area
  • Narrow stools
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Abnormal discharge from the anus
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Swollen lymph nodes (anal and groin area)

Anal cancer is usually caught after patients exhibit these symptoms. In many instances, doctors have also found potential anal cancer growth during physical exams. Various screening tests may be requested by doctors afterward to confirm or deny anal cancer. 

Anal Cancer Survival Rate

Anal cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of 70% (all stages considered). Naturally, cases that are diagnosed at later stages of the disease have a lower survivability. As provided by the American Cancer Society, the per-stage survival rates for anal cancer are as follows:

STAGE5-Year Relative Survival Rate
Localized (Stage 1 or 2)83%
Regional (Stage 3)67%
Distant (Stage 4)36%

Notice how the survival rate plummets when the disease is caught at its more advanced stages. Early detection is really crucial, for it allows patients to get treatments right away – battling the cancer before it gets the chance to develop further. As a means to catch the disease early, standard screening procedures are in place for high-risk patients.

Treatment Options and Medical Spending

Treatment options for anal cancer vary depending on what stage the disease was caught in. The best medical approach for this disease often requires 2 or more complementary treatments. Conventional treatments for anal cancer include:

Given the need for holistic treatments, medical expenses for treating anal cancer can quickly pile up. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer patients in the US will spend upwards of $200 billion per year starting 2020. When accounting for per-patient costs, they have identified three distinct phases –  initial care, continuing care, and end-of-life care. Given limited spending data on anal cancers, here are the average annual per-patient expenses for cancer treatments in the US:

Medical ServicesPrescription Drugs
Initial Care(1st year after diagnosis)$43,516$1,874
Continuing Care(time in between)$5,518
per year
$1,041per year
End-of-Life Care(last year before passing away)$109,727$4,372

All medical expenses (past and future) are considered when filing a medical malpractice claim. Apart from medical expenses, other economic and non-economic losses are also factored in. Lost income, emotional trauma, and decreased quality of life are some of the more common inclusions. Please refer to our previous wins for actual cancer misdiagnosis compensation figures.

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Establishing Your Claim

An initial investigation is needed by your legal team to evaluate and establish your claim. Lawyers typically work with trusted medical consultants at this stage. During said investigation, four key elements are needed to be determined. They are:

Duty of Care – Was there an appropriate doctor-patient relationship?
Breach of Duty – Did your doctor perform poorly/negligently based on accepted standards of care?
Causation – Did your doctor’s actions/inactions directly cause you harm?
Damages – What did these errors cost you?

The responsibilities of your medical malpractice lawyer also include gathering evidence, filing the case, accounting for damages, and negotiating your settlement. Work with someone trustworthy – someone who will safeguard your best interest, and that of your family. 

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

At the Porter Law Group, our team of proven medical malpractice lawyers delivers ideal results.  We take pride in helping families rebuild after unfavorable circumstances.  We operate on a contingency basis – meaning you do not need to pay us anything unless we win your case. Through this approach, we can better support families during their times of need.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, please reach out to us for a non-obligatory free case evaluation. You can also contact us at 833-PORTER9 or  info@porterlawteam.com to schedule a consultation.

Written By
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
Legally Reviewed on May 7, 2024
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Eric C. Nordby on May 7, 2024. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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