Prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer with 90% of cases being diagnosed in the local or regional stages. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, when prostate cancer is detected in these early stages there is an extremely high cure rate with nearly 100% of all men becoming disease-free within a five year time period.
However, if you or your loved one was diagnosed with a later stage of cancer, it may have been able to be detected sooner. If you believe there was a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer, you may have a medical malpractice case. Robert Messey, MD/JD and Gayle Sullivan, RN/JD will begin an immediate medical and legal investigation into your case. There is a specific amount of time you have to bring a case to court. Contact an experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.
How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
The current recommendation is that men start screening for prostate cancer when they are 50 years old (sooner if medical history dictates). This early screening begins with a digital rectal examination and a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test. If either of these tests are abnormal, your doctor should refer your care to a specialist who would order further diagnostic testing.
The specialist may order a transrectal ultrasound and/or biopsy, where a small sample of the prostate tissue is extracted for further testing. The tissue is then given a Gleason score: a number from 2-10 based on the likelihood that cancerous tissue will spread. The lower the score the less likely the prostate cancer will spread to other areas of the body. If the cancer spreads, treatments can include radiation, hormone therapy, and/or chemotherapy – all of which have serious and complicated side effects.
How Does a Delayed Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Occur?
Sadly, delayed prostate cancer diagnoses can be the result of medical malpractice (a deviation from the standard of care causing permanent injury including death). Some of the causes of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to appropriately screen an eligible patient with a digital rectal exam and by ordering a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test;
- Failure to read PSA blood test results when posted by the laboratory;
- Failure to refer the patient to a urologist or other specialist for further screening when blood tests are abnormal.
Attorneys Messey and Sullivan bring their extensive medical and legal backgrounds to cases with this level of complexity. If you suspect there may have been a delayed response to your prostate cancer diagnosis, call our office immediately at 1-855-494-8300.