Serving New Jersey – Pennsylvania – Nationwide*
Prostate cancer is very common among men, and failure to diagnose or delayed treatment of prostate cancer is especially tragic because it typically responds well to early treatment.
All men should be offered prostate cancer screening by their primary care providers and/or urologists beginning at age 50. Men who are at increased risk for prostate cancer, such as african-americans or those with a positive family history, should be offered prostate screening at an earlier point in time.
Detecting Prostate Cancer
Two simple tests are used to screen for prostate cancer, and they can be performed at any doctor’s office during an office visit. These are:
- Prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA)
- Digital rectal exam (DRE)
The PSA test measures for a protein in the blood which is usually elevated if there is a prostate problem, including cancer. Since this protein is not always elevated when cancer is present, the DRE test is also necessary. DRE involves your doctor inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to manually check the prostate for any irregularities in size, shape, and texture.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Most men do not experience any symptoms in the very early stages, but a few will. These symptoms include:
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Weak or interrupted urination
- Difficulty starting urination
- Holding back urine
- Pain or burning during urination
- Frequent pain and/or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
Medical Mistakes Can Delay Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer
Here are some common medical mistakes and errors that can cause a preventable delay in diagnosing prostate cancer:
- Failure to offer or recommend routine prostate cancer screening
- Failure to offer or recommend early prostate cancer screening for men at increased risk
- Failure to order PSA testing
- Failure to perform DRE (digital rectal examination)
- Failure to adequately investigate suspicious findings
- Failure to properly follow up on PSA test results
- Failure to coordinate or communicate with other medical care providers
Injuries Caused by the Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Early detection of prostate cancer is life saving. It can also mean the possibility of nerve-sparing surgery, preventing sexual dysfunction and preserving quality of life. Misdiagnosis or delayed treatment can lead to much more aggressive treatment, including much more radical surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, and can result in death. Types of harm caused by delayed damage of prostate cancer include:
- Premature death
- Inoperable cancer
- Severe physical pain
- Loss of sexual function
- Scaring, disfigurement and loss of other organs
- Treatment which is more invasive, aggressive, and painful
- Treatment which is significantly more expensive
- Significantly increased recovery time
- Lost wages
- Long-term or permanent disability
How We Can Help
No amount of money can make up for a man’s unnecessary or preventable death, or for the added pain of knowing that premature death would probably have been avoided had health care professionals acted properly. However, a man’s premature death creates a financial burden on families, and the responsible party should bear that cost. In addition, delayed treatment of prostate cancer creates additional health care costs, lost wages, and in some cases permanent disability.
If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life due to what you suspect may have been a failure to diagnose prostate cancer, you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future loss of wages
- Long-term disability
- Long-term care expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Burial expenses
Collectively, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers Michael L. Weiss, Esq. and Robert E. Paarz, Esq. have presented over 15 medical malpractice cases relating to the failure to diagnose prostate cancer to juries and have helped many families achieve substantial financial recoveries. They are committed to using their knowledge and experience to help any individual or family who has suffered a severe, permanent injury or death due to medical malpractice to obtain fair compensation.
If you believe you or a loved one may have experienced such an injury, please contact Weiss & Paarz, P.C., today.
*The firm handles cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For cases outside those states, Weiss & Paarz works with local attorneys in the state where the medical care took place, at no additional cost to the client.