NJ Lawyers Handling Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer Claims
Achieving justice for New Jersey patients injured by a prostate cancer misdiagnosis
Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among American men. The American Cancer Society reports nearly 165,000 new cases per year and about 29,000 deaths from this type of cancer. About one in nine men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime.
The failure to diagnose prostate cancer is especially tragic, as the disease typically responds well to early treatment. The longer cancer remains in the body, the more it can spread and become more difficult or even impossible to treat.
We trust our doctors to detect life-threatening illnesses or conditions in their early stages, so we can undergo proper treatment for the best possible results. Physicians should understand the symptoms of conditions like prostate cancer, as well as any factors that might put their patients at an elevated risk. When a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose cancer and you suffer further injury, your doctor may have committed medical malpractice.
The medical negligence attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow in NJ are experienced with failure to diagnose prostate cancer claims. We can answer any questions you have about your potential case. Feel free to contact us today.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
The earlier prostate cancer is detected, the better the chances for a positive outcome. This is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and get the patient into treatment as soon as possible. Early stages of prostate cancer may show no symptoms, but later stages may show:
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- Difficulty starting urinary flow
- Increased frequency or need to urinate, especially at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain in hips, back, chest, or ribs (a sign the cancer has spread to the bones)
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities, or loss of bladder and bowel control (a sign the cancer is pressing on the spinal cord)
Many of these issues may be caused by something other than cancer, like benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate. However, any symptom of the above types should be reported to your physician and he or she should follow up properly.
And, even though early stage prostate cancer can be asymptomatic, when patients have a high-risk factor, physicians should screen them appropriately.
Risk factors for prostate cancer
Certain people may have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer than others. Having these risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean they will develop prostate cancer – and some men develop prostate cancer who have no known risk factors.
However, according to the American Cancer Society, there are certain factors that can affect a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer:
- Age – The risk for prostate cancer greatly increases after age 50. More than half of prostate cancer cases are found in men over 65.
- Family history – There may be a genetic factor to prostate cancer, as it can run in families. Having a father or brother with the disease can more than double the risk.
- Race – Prostate cancer is found more often in African-American men than men of other races. African-American men are also more likely to die from prostate cancer. However, the reasons for this disparity aren’t clear.
- Geography – Prostate cancer is more prevalent in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands. Reasons for this are again unclear, but researchers believe that more advanced screening methods in more developed countries are partly responsible.
- Gene changes – Although this accounts for a small amount of cases, research shows that inherited gene changes can also increase the risk of prostate cancer. The same way that the BRCA gene raises the risk of breast or ovarian cancer in women, it can also raise the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Also, men with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC, have an elevated risk of several types of cancers, including prostate cancer.
Your physician should be aware of any risk factors you have and follow an appropriate screening plan.
Treatment options for prostate cancer in NJ
There are a variety of treatment options available for prostate cancer, dependent on factors like the stage of the cancer, possible side effects of the treatment, the patient’s preference, and general health. Possible treatment include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.
There are many options for cancer treatment in New Jersey, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Rutgers Cancer Institute, Steeplechase Cancer Center, Saint Peters University Hospital, and The Cancer Center at Shore Medical Center.
When your doctor fails to diagnose prostate cancer
There are two easy tests to screen patients for prostate cancer, and a doctor can perform them during a routine office visit. There are the prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA), and a digital rectal exam (DRE).
A PSA test measures for a certain protein in the blood that’s elevated when there’s a prostate issue, including cancer. However, this protein isn’t always elevated when cancer is present in the system, so the DRE is also necessary. This test is when a doctor digitally checks the prostate for any irregularities.
Unfortunately, medical professionals can be negligent in their duties, causing delays in diagnosing prostate cancer. Common mistakes include failure to:
- Recommend or offer routing prostate cancer screenings.
- Recommend or offer early screenings for men with elevated risk factors.
- Order PSA tests.
- Perform digital rectal tests.
- Properly follow up on suspicious test findings.
- Properly follow up on PSA test results.
- Communicate with other medical care providers related to the case.
When you or your loved one suffer irreparable injury or wrongful death due to a prostate cancer misdiagnosis, knowing that it could have been preventable makes it even more tragic. On top of health issues, you are likely facing massive medical bills. Your medical misdiagnosis attorney can help.
Call a skilled New Jersey failure to diagnose prostate cancer attorney today
The medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP provide experienced and reliable representation to men injured by a prostate cancer delayed diagnosis. Our legal team will fight for compensation and justice on your behalf. We have offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River. Call our office for a consultation at 732-777-0100 or fill out our contact form.