Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis

Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Syracuse Area Residents

When cells in the prostate gland grow in an uncontrollable fashion, prostate cancer begins. The prostate is a gland below the bladder, but in front of the rectum, that's found in males. It makes some of the fluid that forms semen. When a doctor fails to diagnose prostate cancer, it has an opportunity to spread to other parts of the body. If you have suffered due to a prostate cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Most prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas that develop from the cells of the prostate gland. However, there are other kinds of prostate cancer, which are rare, including neuroendocrine tumors, sarcomas, small cell carcinomas, and transitional cell carcinomas. Adenocarcinoma usually grows slowly, and in some cases, elderly men who die for other reasons are found to have had prostate cancer that didn't impact them during their lives. Even so, some prostate cancers are very aggressive and spread, and finding prostate cancer early on when it is only in the prostate makes it more likely to be treated effectively than is prostate cancer that has metastasized.

Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

In its early stages, there may not be any signs or symptoms of prostate cancer. However, as it develops, signs and symptoms can include difficulties urinating, uncomfortable pelvic regions, blood in the semen, bone pain, pain in the hips or upper thighs or lower back, and erectile dysfunction. Two tests are used by doctors trying to determine whether there is prostate cancer. The first is the digital rectal exam, in which a doctor tries to determine if a prostate is enlarged or hardened by feeling it via the rectum. There is also a prostate specific antigen test to determine whether the prostate is making a substance it makes to respond to prostate cancer. Most prostate cancer can be detected in the early stages with these tests. A failure to use these tests to determine whether there is prostate cancer can result in misdiagnosis or a diagnosis being delayed.

If the two tests come back with abnormal results, a doctor should follow up with a biopsy. The biopsy is the only proper test to confirm prostate cancer and needs to be performed after there is an abnormal test result. Other tests can be done to determine whether cancer has spread, such as a bone scan, CT scan, MRI, or blood tests. Failure to follow up properly can result in the spread of cancer, and once it spreads, it can be difficult to treat or simply impossible to treat.

In some cases, doctors fail to check for prostate cancer when faced with certain symptoms, and instead they misdiagnose and prescribe a medication to address one or more symptoms. For example, a doctor faced with erectile dysfunction may not perform an appropriate differential diagnosis and simply order Viagra or another erectile dysfunction drug. Failure to conduct a proper differential diagnosis, to perform proper tests, or failure to diagnose prostate cancer for another reason may provide a basis to sue for medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice exists where a health care provider breaches the professional standard of care, and in so failing, causes injuries to the patient. In other words, if a health care provider fails to take the appropriate steps to diagnose prostate cancer that a competent health care provider would have, and thus doesn't diagnose it, such that a patient experiences injuries, it may be possible to recover damages for medical malpractice. It will be necessary to retain an expert to provide opinions about what the professional standard of care was, whether your doctor breached it, and whether the breach was the cause of your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. An experienced medical negligence lawyer can help you identify an appropriate expert to testify in your case.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents those injured due to a health care provider's prostate cancer misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose in Syracuse and Rochester. Our lawyers also represent patients harmed by negligent health care providers in communities including Elmira, Binghamton, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Auburn, Oswego, Herkimer, Delhi, Norwich, Cortland, Lowville, Watertown, Oneida, Utica, Wampsville, Canandaigua, and Lyons. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

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