Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer

According to Prostate Cancer UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Over 44,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year; that’s more than 120 men every day. 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.  Over 330,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that men are more reluctant to attend the doctor when they are suffering from suspicious symptoms than women. Anecdotally, male cancer ‘hotlines’ appear to be used more frequently by women enquiring on behalf of the men in their lives. However, early detection in prostate cancer can make a very big difference to the treatment and survival rates, which is why it is crucial that diagnosis occurs at the earliest possible time.

If you have attended your doctor but there has been a delay in diagnosis of prostate cancer, this can be incredibly distressing.  Medical negligence can arise when medical professionals fail to complete the right tests or just discount the symptoms of cancer for something else.

We understand how distressing it is to be diagnosed with cancer in the first place, but to find out that your diagnosis has been delayed due to missed symptoms is devastating. If you find yourself in this position then our expert team of medical negligence solicitors can help you to decide if you would like to make a claim for medical negligence.

Prostate Cancer FAQs

What is a prostate? The prostate is a gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. It is located between the bladder and the anus and is surrounded by nerves controlling the erection of the penis, which is why some dysfunction can be present when there are prostate problems.

Symptoms of prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is unlikely to produce any symptoms, at least in its early stages, but this is not always the case. Classic symptoms to look out for which may be an indication of prostate cancer are:

• Blood in the urine (haematuria)

• needing to urinate more often than usual, including at night – for example if you often need   to go again after two hours • difficulty starting to urinate • straining or taking a long time to finish urinating • a weak flow when you urinate • a feeling that you’re not emptying your bladder fully • needing to rush to the toilet – sometimes leaking before you get there • dribbling urine after you finish urinating

Testing for prostate cancer If a patient were, for example, to visit his GP complaining of some of the symptoms described above over a period of several months, the GP should carry out an examination of the patient’s prostate by way of a rectal examination. The GP should also ensure that blood is taken then and there for testing, so that the patient’s PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level can be determined. The higher the PSA level the more concerned the GP should be, and the more likely that a biopsy of the prostate will need to be taken for testing.

If your GP thinks you might need further tests to work out if you have a prostate problem, they will refer you to see a hospital specialist, usually a Urologist. The Urologist may wish to do further tests such as a TRUS (trans-rectal ultrasound) guided biopsy or an MRI scan. Where problems have been pointed out to a GP, there must be a response and there must be a strong follow up. NICE guideline [CG175] were published in January 2014 and they provide a very useful chart as to what referrals should be made by whom, and when. 

How we can help:

If you believe that you have suffered a delay in diagnosis of prostate cancer, or that your treatment has been delayed, it is possible that this could have had an effect on your long term prognosis. If that is the case and you have suffered detrimental consequences as a result of delay we may be able to help you recover compensation. Here at Ince Metcalfes we have an experienced team of medical negligence solicitors who can offer you specialist advice.   We deal with all areas of medical negligence including delayed diagnosis. If you believe that you or a family member has suffered as a result of medical negligence then please contact us on 0117 239 8012.  Alternatively, you can email us by using our online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.

Further Reading:

Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

For more information or to speak to one of our friendly team for your free initial consultation, please call 0117 239 8012 or complete our online enquiry form.

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