Doctor Settles For $600,000 For Not Informing Man Tests Suggested He May Have Prostate Cancer- By: Joseph Hernandez
Description : Men often possess a scant understanding of prostate cancer, their own chances for the cancer, and the methods available for detecting if they have prostate cancer. Many men have limited, if any, understanding of the value of screening for prostate cancer or of the guidelines for when they should start testing, how frequently to screen, and how to interpret the test results. Unfortunately doctors sometimes fail to screen male patients or do not order diagnostic testing given an abnormal result from a screening test.
Delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer cases are all too common. This article will consider the following pattern: the doctor (1) actually screens the patient for prostate cancer by keeping track of the level of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in his bloodstream, (2) discovers that the patient has a high PSA level, however (3) does not notify the patient, fails to refer the patient to a specialist, and fails to order a biopsy to determine if the elevated PSA is due to prostate cancer. The case below is an example of this situation.
A doctor, an internist, found out that his male patient had a PSA of 8. (a level above a 4.0 is generally viewed as high). The physician said nothing to the patient. The physician failed to refer the patient to a specialist. The physician did not order a biopsy. Two years later the doctor repeated the PSA test. This time the PSA level had gone up to 13.6. Once again, the doctor said nothing to the patient. Again, the doctor did not refer the patient to a urologist. And again, the physician did not order a biopsy. Two years later the physician repeated the PSA test. It was not until three years after first learning of the patient’s raised PSA level that the doctor finally advised him that he probably had cancer. More testing uncovered that at this point the patient had advanced prostate cancer. A prostatectomy was no longer an option. Treating physicians alternatively advised radiation therapy and hormone therapy. Neither of these would eliminate the cancer but they might decrease the cancer’s progress and additional spread. The law firm that handled this matter reported that they took the lawsuit to mediation where they achieved a settlement of $600,000.
If they do not do anything in the presence of abnormal test results and the man later learns that he had prostate cancer and that the lapse of time lead to it spreading beyond the prostate gland therefore decreasing treatment alternatives and lowering his possibility of surviving the cancer, the person may have a claim for malpractice against the doctor.
At a minimum they ought to inform the patient that the results of the screening tests are abnormal and refer the person to a urologist. In addition, the doctor can recommend diagnostic testing, like a biopsy.
As the above claim illustrates physicians sometimes comply with the guidelines by performing screening for prostate cancer but if the test results are abnormal they do not follow through.
Article Source : http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com/
Author Resource : As an attorney Joseph Hernandez accepts medical malpractice matters. Visit his website to learn more about advanced prostate cancer cases visit the website at for a free attorney consultation with a cancer lawyerDistributed by ContentCrooner.com
This is the problem with everybody, doctors and patients, reading headlines about not ordering PSA’s on patients over a certain age and as well high false positive PSA patient’s having a negative biopsy or diagnosing a cancer that doesn’t need to be treated. If you read the previous post then the doctor did the patient a favor by not subjecting him to the inconvenience of a referral to a urologist, a biopsy, and the potential for a life-altering treatment. You can’t have it both ways. For better or worse, the best we have is a PSA and high values have to be thoroughly vetted with options for subsequent management. I would imagine you could be sued for not ordering a PSA in the first place. Ps… how about the last line about a “consultation with a cancer lawyer.” How appropriate. The American Cancer Society’s recent update on PSA could have been used in the defense here. I’ll ask Mr. PSA’s spokesperson Pepe the Prostate at the next interview.