Ways A Doctor Could Be Accountable For Delay In Diagnosing Prostate Cancer Until It Spreads- By: Joseph Hernandez“How can I sue thee… Let me count the ways.” I actually like the logical way this lawyer works through this process. He is telling the reader how a doctor can be liable if he doesn’t order a psa and then how he is liable if he does and doesn’t follow-up the right way. Then the doctor is liable for anything that goes wrong with the treatment. Whew! I see a lot of patients a month and do lots of psa’s and have done so for many many years. I did not know I was at so much risk. I hope my patients don’t read this and contact this lawyer’s website. Seriously, this article nicely highlights the problem with trying to sort out who should have a psa and who shouldn’t and the logistical and time constraint problems for the doctor. And then the malpractice risk that goes along with “just ordering a blood test.”
Description : Consider that your physician physically examines your prostate gland for any signs of possible cancer, such as an enlargement or a hardening of the gland and whether there are any nodules palpable on the gland. Imagine the physician orders blood tests, including a PSA test which is used for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is the way to determine whether a man without any symptoms of prostate cancer may in fact have it. Imagine the results actually were abnormal.
However, a number of doctors do not recommend men who are asymtomatic to screen for prostate cancer. They take the position that screening has little, if any, value. If of a screening test is abnormal the patient ought to be informed about the results and either be referred to a specialist or be told about the option for diagnostic testing, such as a biopsy. Again, however, a number of doctors also believe that, at least under certain circumstances, a male patient who is diagnosed with prostate cancer does not need to undergo treatment immediately and only has to carefully monitor the cancer.
If the doctor fails to give the patient the option to undergo screening or does not 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. However, if a physician detected that the patient’s prostate was enlarged or there was a nodule on the gland and the PSA test results suggested abnormally high levels of the antigen and the doctor failed to notify the patient about the abnormal results, the man would in all likelihood assume that meant there was no need to follow up. If the man does actually have cancer, not telling the patient that he might have cancer will cause a delay in his diagnosis.
A delay might, in turn, give the cancer time to spread. When a cancer metastasizes treatment will at best lessen the pace of the spread of the cancer and reduce the effects (for example pain) of the cancer. There are cases where a doctor did screen a patient and the test results were abnormal but the physician did not inform the patient and did not follow up.
Screening tests may yield false positives. This means that certain patients with abnormal screening results actually do not have cancer. However performing screening tests for cancer is meaningless without follow up as it gives the patient an incorrect sense of security believing he has no cancer as the physician tested him and said nothing to him that the screening tests demonstrated he might have cancer. Doctors generally concur the requirement for follow up when the results of screening tests come back as abnormal.
Article Source : http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com/
Author Resource : Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney accepting medical malpractice cases. To learn more about metastatic prostate cancer cases an how a cancer lawyer may be able to assist you visit the website
2 Replies to “A lawyer’s take on screening and prostate cancer-teaching men how to know when the doctor is at fault-Yet another Bart Simpson damned if you do and damned if you don’t”
Yet another reason to dislike my profession. We don’t get y’all much wiggle room, do we?
it is all good. i have be in two malpractice law suits and was defended by your profession. i have more lawyer friends than doctors. thanks so much for your comment. this psa thing however is getting tricky……… jm