Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Our Firm Has Been Representing Clients in Medical Malpractice Cases Against Local Pittsburgh Hospitals and Doctors for Many Years
According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, aside from non-melanoma skin cancers. In 2012, 27,244 American men died from this disease. Based on recent data (2010-2012), approximately 14% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Prostate cancer is highly treatable, with extremely high survival rates after five years. However, men are far less likely to survive prostate cancer if medical malpractice is committed during their treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered due to prostate cancer malpractice, contact our Pittsburgh prostate cancer malpractice lawyer for a free initial consultation.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about medical malpractice claims for failure to diagnose prostate cancer in Pennsylvania, view the Matzus Law LLC medical malpractice FAQ page.
Unfortunately, there are no early signs of prostate cancer, which can make it difficult to diagnose. A tumor must grow and spread beyond the prostate before men experience any symptoms. These symptoms may include:
None of these symptoms can definitively diagnose prostate cancer. These are actually symptoms of the blocked prostate caused by the tumor itself. More severe symptoms can help diagnose the condition. As prostate cancer advances, men will experience some or all of the above symptoms but may also experience:
Prostate cancer, like other cancers, starts with the development of abnormal cells. These cells are often mutated normal cells with DNA that cause them to grow and divide more rapidly than they should. This uncontrolled division, called mitosis, ultimately forms a tumor that begins in the prostate and spreads to other organs. Older men, especially those 65 and older, are at risk for prostate cancer. As with many other cancers, a family history increases the risk, as well. If the women in a man’s family have a history of breast cancer or carry the genes for breast cancer, that man is more likely to develop prostate cancer. Finally, obesity can increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer and make the disease more difficult to treat.
While prostate cancer can be difficult to diagnose, it does not mean doctors cannot be sued for malpractice related to prostate cancer. Many cancer-related malpractice cases are related to the delayed diagnosis of cancer or failure to diagnose the disease at all. If doctors fail to diagnose and treat prostate cancer early, it can metastasize to other organs very quickly. This makes treatment more difficult and can cause the patient to experience more severe symptoms. In some cases, failure to diagnose prostate cancer kills the patient. During the diagnostic process, some physicians make oversights or errors that ultimately kill the patient, or at the least, worsen his prostate cancer. For instance, the two primary tests for prostate cancer are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Although the PSA test has been shown to be more reliable than a DRE, it can generate false positives. Thus, some physicians forego the PSA test because they do not want to risk worrying their patients. Failure to perform either of these tests when it was clear one was warranted, or when the patient requested one, can result in a malpractice suit. Not all prostate cancer malpractice suits are related to diagnostics. Some cases revolve around errors made during surgeries for prostate cancer or negligence during cancer treatment. Other cases may involve medication errors, such as a patient receiving too much or too little chemotherapy or radiation.
If you have prostate cancer and have also been the victim of medical malpractice, contact Matzus Law LLC. We will help you get the compensation you deserve. Our consultations are free and if we do not get a recovery for you, you owe us nothing.
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