Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, with more than 325,000 cases diagnosed yearly. Greater than 40,000 males will die from prostate cancer, some of them due to a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis. While most new cases of prostate cancer occur in men over age 65, younger men can also develop the disease. For men between the ages of 50 and 59, the last few decades have seen an increase in the incidence of prostate cancer, partially due to advanced screening and diagnostics that detect prostate cancer at earlier stages.

Symptoms of Prostate Dysfunction

  • Urinary hesitancy, dribbling and retention
  • Pain upon urination
  • Getting up at night to urinate
  • Blood in urine
  • Low back pain
  • Pain upon ejaculation

Prostate Cancer Standards of Care

Your physician is required to live up to the standard of care in your community for diagnosing prostate cancer. Timely examinations and the use of advanced diagnostic tools comprise this standard of care. Digital rectal examinations and bloodwork are also required. Failure to perform these medically acceptable tests when your symptoms indicate the possible presence of prostate cancer could make the difference between diagnosis and treatment, or death. Fortunately, today’s advanced digital screening and testing diagnoses most prostate cancers in the early stages.

Malpractice can still occur, however, due to the following physician errors:

  • Failure to monitor patients with genetic prostate cancer history
  • Failure to screen white males over age 50 and African American males over 40
  • Ignoring patient’s symptoms or failure to identify cancerous mass upon exam
  • Failure to perform prostate exam or PSA blood test / ignoring test results
  • Failure to perform biopsy in response to abnormal test results
  • Failure to follow-up with patient

What could a failure to diagnose and treat prostate cancer mean? The difference between minimally invasive, successful treatment, and more radical surgery…even perhaps loss of life.

Do you believe your physician may have failed to diagnose your prostate cancer, or has failed to take medically necessary actions that have delayed your diagnosis, to your detriment? If so, your next step is to contact a qualified attorney.