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Colorectal cancer is one of the top five malpractice diseases (see malpractice overview). Misdiagnosis of rectal cancer can occur, and the prognosis for a late discovery of rectal cancer can be poor. Undiagnosed rectal cancer can be a "silent killer" because the pain is often a late symptom rather than an early symptom. Some people assume it can't be cancer without pain.
Rectal cancer also sometimes catches people because they fail to undergo medical tests, sometimes even when prescribed by a doctor. Patients often perceive tests such as stool tests, sigmoidoscopy or other tests for rectal cancer as painful or embarrassing. Hence, many cases of rectal cancer are discovered later with a poorer prognosis.
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