The second most common cause of cancer death in the U.S., colorectal cancer kills almost 50,000 people each year, but delays in diagnosis often happen. When there is a delayed diagnosis for colorectal cancer, people who have greater risks of death due to being in more advanced stages of cancer when the diagnoses are finally made. Delays in diagnosis may happen because of actions by the patients, failures by the doctors, or a combination of both.
Since 2015, health care regulators and lawmakers have devoted much time, energy and resources into investigating a series of outbreaks of "superbugs" related to the use of duodenoscopes. These devices, used to inspect and treat problems in the intestinal tract, have been linked to at least 35 deaths over the last four years.