Delayed Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Lawyers in Connecticut
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Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men over 75 years of age. Due to its frequency of occurrence, many doctors recommend prostate cancer screening for all men starting at 50 years of age. Screening can include a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test as well as a digital rectal exam to check the prostate gland for masses or nodules.
PSA Blood Tests
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is often used to screen for prostate cancer. Because of the widespread availability of this test, many prostate cancers are found before they cause symptoms. If the PSA level is increasing or above normal, or if a rectal exam reveals a hard or uneven prostate gland, prostate cancer is a possibility. At a minimum, patients should receive their results, be told high levels could indicate prostate cancer, and be counseled on further options.
The Gleason Score
The results of a prostate biopsy use the Gleason Score. This score indicates the likelihood cancer has spread outside the prostate gland. Fortunately, when prostate cancer is detected early, it is highly curable. Once it spreads outside the prostate, this more-advanced cancer is no longer considered curable. Treatment for metastatic prostate cancer includes hormone therapy, radiation, and chemotherapy. All of these treatments bring uncomfortable side effects.
How Do Doctors Misdiagnose Prostate Cancer?
Unfortunately, a delay in diagnosing prostate cancer can be due to a doctor’s negligence.
Some reasons include:
- The doctor forgoes routine screening, including PSA testing or digital exams
- The doctor does not check PSA levels when test results are returned by the lab
- The doctor does not refer the patient to a specialist when PSA levels increase
As with all forms of cancer, early detection and an appropriate treatment regimen are vital to a patient’s long-term prognosis and their ultimate survival rate.