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Holding Doctors Responsible For Delaying Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer

Author : Joseph Hernandez   Top Author

Submitted : 2010-04-14 02:18:59    Word Count : 481    Popularity:   9

Tags:   metastatic prostate cancer, cancer attorney

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Imagine that your doctor physically examines your prostate gland for any signs of potential cancer including an enlargement or a hardening of the prostate and if there are any growths palpable on the gland. Imagine the physician orders blood tests, including a PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer. This is how to determine whether a man without any symptoms of prostate cancer may actually have it. Imagine the tests came back outside the normal range

A number of doctors take the position that prostate cancer screening, specifically PSA testing, is of little or no value. They hold that screening has little, if any, value. If of a screening test is abnormal the individual needs to be told of the results and either be referred to a specialist or be told about the option for diagnostic testing, like a biopsy. Again, though, a number of doctors also take the position that, at least under certain situations, a male patient diagnosed with prostate cancer does not need to treat it right away and simply needs to carefully monitor the cancer.

If the physician fails to give the patient the option to undergo screening or fails to tell the patient about the abnormal test results the patient's prostate cancer may spread and metastasize without the man even knowing he may have cancer. Unfortunately, if a doctor detected that the patient's prostate was enlarged or there was a nodule on the gland and the PSA test results indicated abnormally high levels of the antigen and the doctor did not notify the patient of the abnormal results, the man would in all likelihood believe that meant there was no need to follow up. In case the male does actually have cancer, not telling him that he might have cancer will postpone his diagnosis.

A delay could, in turn, make it possible for the cancer to spread. When a cancer metastasizes treatment can at best slow down the continuing growth of the cancer and decrease the effects (such as pain) of the cancer. There are lawsuits where a doctor did screen a man and the test results were abnormal yet the physician failed to inform the patient and did not recommend further testing or to refer the man to a specialist.

Screening tests might have false positives. This means that some patients with abnormal screening results will not have cancer. Yet doing screening tests for cancer is meaningless if there is no follow up as it gives the patient a false sense of security thinking he has no cancer as the doctor screened him and did not tell him that the tests demonstrated the possibility of cancer. Doctors normally acknowledge that there is a need for follow up if the results of screening tests come back as abnormal.

Author's Resource Box

Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney accepting medical malpractice cases. To learn more about metastatic prostate cancer and how a cancer attorney may be able to help you visit the website

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