Prostate Cancer

Misdiagnosis Lawyers Helping Patients in the Areas Around Syracuse and Rochester

The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped gland located below a man's bladder and in front of his rectum. It produces some of the fluid in semen and also helps with urine control. Prostate cancer is a more common form of cancer than bladder cancer and other forms in the same area of the body, but it can be treated when detected early, prior to metastasis. Prostate cancer usually starts with tiny changes to the shape and size of cells in the prostate glands. Symptoms include urination problems, such as frequent urges to urinate at night, difficulty starting and maintaining urination, bloody urine, painful ejaculation, and difficulty getting an erection. As it advances, there may be urinary incontinence, bone pain, bone fractures, weakness in the legs, and fecal incontinence. If you are harmed by a doctor's failure to diagnose prostate cancer, our Syracuse cancer misdiagnosis lawyers may be able to recover damages through an oncology malpractice lawsuit.

Prostate Cancer

There are numerous risk factors for prostate cancer, including a family history of it. Doctors should perform a physical exam and ask about ongoing medical history, and when a patient has symptoms of prostate cancer or unusually high PSA levels, they should perform certain tests. Tests to detect prostate cancer include a biomarker test checking the patient's blood, tissues, or urine, as well as a digital rectal examination in which the doctor may manually check for prostate abnormalities with a finger.

When tests come back with abnormal results, other tests should be performed, including a trans-rectal ultrasound scan, a biopsy, and a PCA 3 test to determine whether the PCA 3 gene, which is only in prostate cancer cells, is present. The purpose of the tests is to determine which stage the cancer has reached and which treatments may help. CT scans, MRI scans, and bone scans are used to track metastasis.

The treatment available may hinge on whether it is caught early or whether you are already dealing with advanced prostate cancer. With early-stage prostate cancer, there may be monitoring of PSA blood levels, a radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate, brachytherapy in which radioactive seeds are implanted, conformal radiation therapy, or intensity-modulated radiation therapy. However, cancer that is advanced may require more aggressive and painful treatments like androgen deprivation therapy, chemotherapy, and long-term hormone therapy. When the prostate is removed, it can affect fertility.

When prostate cancer is found prior to metastasis, there is a good chance of survival, as there is with colon cancer and many other forms of cancer. However, if the cancer has a chance to spread, many people do not survive past five years. If your doctor failed to order appropriate tests to diagnose prostate cancer or to follow up to determine the spread and stage as well as the appropriate treatment, this may have affected your ability to survive the cancer. For example, a doctor who diagnosed an enlarged prostate but did not perform tests, or who did perform tests but failed to perform future PSA tests, may have deviated from the standard of care. To establish a medical malpractice claim against your doctor or another health care provider, you will need to show that it is more likely than not that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant, the doctor deviated from the professional standard of care, and there was causation and actual damages.

In order to establish a medical malpractice claim in New York, a lawyer must consult and retain an expert for the purposes of meeting procedural requirements and also to testify on issues like what the standard of care was and causation. The expert needs to be credible about what the defendant did or did not do that resulted in the failure to diagnose and the harm. The expert also needs to show causation. This can be a tricky element to show. If, for example, you went to the doctor when the cancer was already advanced, and nothing that the doctor did would have made a difference to your survival, you would not be able to recover damages.

Seek Representation from a Syracuse Attorney Against a Negligent Doctor

If you are harmed due to a doctor's failure to diagnose prostate cancer or another form of this disease, such as kidney cancer, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from responsible parties. Our attorneys represent injured patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

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