Monitoring for Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cance
Prostate cancer may grow slowly over time. It has a decent survival rate if it’s discovered and treated during early stages. Sometimes health care providers don’t see signs nor adequately respond to them. This may result in a patient requiring invasive and significant medical intervention in order to fight tumors or the spread of cancer from the prostate to other parts of his body. If your health care provider failed to monitor for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, and as a result you suffered harm, you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help patients whose doctors were not monitoring for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.Monitoring for Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer in Syracuse
Men at risk for prostate cancer should be monitored by their doctors for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. Symptoms of prostate cancer include blood in semen or urine, frequent urination at night, sudden erectile dysfunction, and difficulty stopping or starting urination. An elevated PSA level may be a red flag.Liability
Some monitoring errors constitute medical malpractice. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, your lawyer will need to establish: (1) you were owed a professional duty of care by the defendant, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Breach of the professional standard of care may involve a failure to conduct proper tests, failure to refer a patient to a specialist, failure to heed and address warning signs, failure to communicate test results to a patient, or failure to treat once a red flag is spotted.
The professional standard of care depends on what a reasonably prudent doctor in the same specialty and geographic region as the defendant would have done under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a reasonably prudent general practitioner in Syracuse would have taken note of your medical history and frequent urination, and conducted further testing or referred you to a specialist, but yours did not do this, and as a result your prostate cancer spread and became more painful to treat, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
In some cases, prostate cancer is small or expected to grow slowly. It may not be known whether surgery or radiation would increase life expectancy. You may need to be put under active surveillance or observation for prostate cancer that isn’t symptomatic or is small and located only in the prostate. In that case, the court will look at whether active surveillance or observation was a reasonable professional decision given the circumstances and whether that decision contributed to your harm.
Active surveillance is used to monitor prostate cancer most closely. It may involve going to see the doctor, undergoing a prostate-specific antigen blood test every six months, an annual digital rectal exam, prostate biopsies, and imaging studies may be conducted. A doctor is supposed to use the active surveillance to watch for a worsening of cancer and treat you if it does. If your doctor missed signs that your prostate cancer needed immediate and aggressive treatment, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
Health care providers that use observation administer fewer tests; rather they look at whether symptoms are worsening in order to treat the cancer. However, observation and active surveillance aren’t wise if your prostate cancer is growing fast or may have spread outside the prostate. If your doctor did not act prudently in ordering observation, and should have treated your prostate cancer more aggressively, you may have a claim for damages.Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are meant to put you back in the same position you would have been in had your health care provider caught prostate cancer and treated it in a timely fashion. They can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In some cases, more invasive and painful surgery or radiation is necessitated by a failure to properly monitor for signs of prostate cancer; in that case, you may be able to recover the costs and losses associated.Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you were injured or a loved one was killed due to improper monitoring for signs and symptoms of prostate cancer in Syracuse, you should discuss what happened with the seasoned lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Our firm represents people in Rochester and Syracuse. We also represent people in cities in Upstate New York such as Lowville, Watertown, Auburn, Oswego, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Elmira, Wampsville, Herkimer, Binghamton, and Utica. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or complete our online form.