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Prostate cancer continues to be one of the most fatal forms of cancer among men, largely as a result of the failure by many doctors to accurately diagnose the cancer in time. When the cancer is discovered in its treatable phases, the survival rate is very high; unfortunately, many men lose this opportunity, often as a result of medical negligence. In these situations, you may find yourself asking, “What do I do if my cancer diagnosis was delayed?”
If your doctor failed to identify the signs of prostate cancer in time, subjecting you to painful or invasive medical intervention, or if you have lost a loved one prematurely because of a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with a skilled medical injury lawyer near you. If we cannot win your case, you will not owe us anything.
diagnosing prostate cancer
Prostate cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men in the United States. As men get older, they need to have regular prostate exams, especially if they may have any known risk factors, including a family history of prostate cancer. Doctors typically use two main forms of detection to test for prostate cancer:
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test
Earlier detection of prostate cancer allows for earlier and more successful treatment of prostate cancer; doctors use a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test to determine whether the patient’s PSA level is increasing or above normal. If so, patients should be warned that high levels could indicate the presence of prostate cancer, and at the least, consider further testing to provide a more definite conclusion.
As PSA blood tests have become widely available across the country, prostate cancer can be detected and treated through these screenings before the cancer has even begun causing symptoms for the patient. On the other hand, failing to properly read these results or failing to recommend further testing may lead to a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis means delayed treatment and possibly fatal consequences.
Digital Rectal Exam
Doctors may also use a digital rectal exam to check a man’s prostate gland for any masses or nodules that may indicate the potential presence of prostate cancer. If any such masses or nodules are detected, or if the prostate gland appears hard or uneven, a doctor may then order a biopsy to determine whether the irregularity may have been caused by prostate cancer.
Meanwhile, doctors may also use methods to identify or verify the presence of prostate cancer, such as biopsies, ultrasounds, or radiography. If these screening methods are not used by your doctor, and your cancer is able to spread or you suffer any other prostate cancer injury, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you hold your doctor accountable for their negligence in failing to properly detect and diagnose your prostate cancer.
common symptoms of prostate cancer
Despite screening efforts such as PSA blood tests and digital rectal exams, prostate cancer may not be diagnosed until a person has begun exhibiting symptoms, especially if that person has not been regularly screened, or if his doctor failed to properly diagnose the cancer after a screening. In cases where the victim has begun exhibiting symptoms caused by prostate cancer, these symptoms may include:
- Presence of blood in urine or semen
- Difficulty beginning to urinate
- Frequent urges to urinate which seem to worsen at night
- Weak or interrupted stream of urine
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining erections
- Experiencing pain during ejaculation
- Pain in the upper thigh, lower back, or hip
- Discomfort, pain, or a burning sensation while urinating
If you went to your doctor with these symptoms and the doctor failed to perform the necessary screening tests, and this failure resulted in a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you attempt to recover any compensation you may be entitled to. Contact an experienced attorney near you, especially if your delayed diagnosis allowed your cancer to spread or you were forced to endure more invasive, painful, or expensive treatment as a result.
delayed prostate cancer diagnosis
Unfortunately, doctors may miss early warning signs of prostate cancer. Even though an elevated PSA screening may not always indicate the presence of cancer, such a test result should generally result in additional testing and monitoring. But the spread of tort reform laws make it more difficult for personal injury attorneys to help injured victims hold these doctors accountable for their medical negligence.
Common examples of potential medical malpractice include physician-made mistakes such as:
- Failure to record PSA benchmarks
- Failure to communicate test results to patients
- Failure to order follow-up testing or monitoring
- Failure to correctly identify symptoms as potentially being caused by cancer
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
Unfortunately, if your healthcare provider failed to meet the applicable standard of care, you may find yourself later asking another doctor or personal injury attorney, “What do I do if my cancer diagnosis was delayed?” Sadly, the resulting reply can be discouraging and potentially bleak. Without receiving the proper treatment when it first becomes necessary, one of the most treatable forms of cancer can lead to much more invasive forms of cancer, or even premature death. Indeed, delayed diagnosis can result in many harmful effects, such as:
- More painful treatment
- Lengthier courses of treatment
- Increased side effects of treatment
- Permanent health problems
- Significant financial difficulty caused by additional treatment
- Physical and emotional pain or trauma
If you or a loved one have endured a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis, death, or any other delayed cancer diagnosis injury, you should contact an experienced medical injury lawyer as soon as possible to help you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to.
delayed prostate cancer diagnosis faqs
If your cancer diagnosis was delayed as a result of your doctor’s negligence, you will likely have many questions, including what you should do next, whether it will be too late to treat your cancer, or whether you will be able to hold the doctor or other healthcare provider accountable for their negligence. Ultimately, a delayed or misdiagnosis may require you to hire a skilled medical malpractice lawyer after suffering a delayed prostate cancer injury such as the spread of your cancer. While every case is unique and will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, some of the most frequently asked questions following a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis include:
What Do I Do If My Cancer Diagnosis Was Delayed?
Unfortunately, the effects of a delayed cancer diagnosis continue to be grave. For example, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 10-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer diagnosed at the localized stage between 2001 and 2016 was 100 percent. However, despite some improvement since 2001, the 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer that was not diagnosed until it was at the distant stage and had spread beyond the prostate, was merely 32.3 percent, representing a drop of nearly 70 percent. If your doctor’s negligence led to a drop this significant in your potential survival rate, it may be time to ask an experienced personal injury attorney for help.
If your cancer diagnosis was delayed, you should consider taking necessary steps, such as:
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have not already done so, and determine the best course of treatment as soon as possible before it develops any further.
- Consider getting a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis and to determine how the delayed diagnosis may have worsened your condition or required more difficult, expensive, or time-consuming forms of treatment than if it had been diagnosed earlier.
- Speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to determine whether you may be able to pursue compensation from the negligent healthcare provider who caused your delayed diagnosis.
- Hire a medical malpractice lawyer to handle your prostate cancer injury case while you focus on any ongoing treatment and recovering from your cancer.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Medical malpractice cases are often very complex, especially as a result of many states passing tort reform laws to make it more difficult for injured patients to sue physicians, healthcare providers, hospitals, or other entities that may have been responsible for medical negligence. Because of the additional difficulty faced in seeking compensation in medical malpractice cases, hiring a skilled medical injury lawyer can be crucial in helping you pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to. If you have suffered a prostate cancer injury, a medical malpractice lawyer can explain your legal rights and help determine who is responsible for your delayed diagnosis and the resulting physical, emotional, or financial damages.
At Zinda Law Group, your medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of a medical malpractice case. Indeed, our attorneys can help address issues such as lost evidence and witnesses who are difficult to find or whose memories have faded. More importantly, your personal injury lawyer can help level the playing field between you and insurance companies; they have teams of attorneys whose goal is to make sure the insurance companies pay as little compensation as possible to you or any other victim.
Contact a medical malpractice lawyer near you today
We trust doctors to be able to correctly identify the cause of our health problems or symptoms before properly treating those health problems. While doctors are not able to cure every illness, we expect them to at least avoid making our problems worse as a result of their negligence. Unfortunately, physicians are not above making serious mistakes and negligently causing further injury, such as through a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis.
If your doctor failed to diagnose your cancer in time, leading to its advancement and more difficult treatment, or if you have sadly lost a loved one due to a missed or delayed diagnosis, call Zinda Law Group to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible. Our experienced team of medical injury lawyers have years of experience helping victims of medical malpractice, including when medical negligence caused a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.