The experienced attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy know that a prostate cancer misdiagnosis can result in serious harm or unnecessary death, and that in many (even most) cases such misdiagnoses are the result of medical malpractice. If you are suffering pain, disability, and/or a more ominous prognosis because of a doctor’s prostate cancer misdiagnosis, contact us for the powerful legal representation you need.
Though some men may live with prostate cancer for years with no ill effects, for patients with aggressive forms of the disease, misdiagnosis can result in fatality. If you are suffering worsening symptoms, debilitating treatment, or the loss of a loved one due to a doctor’s negligent misdiagnosis of prostate cancer, our law team is well-prepared to fight vigorously to obtain monetary damages for you and your family.
Why Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis Is So Disturbing
The American Cancer Society reports that prostate cancer is more common for men than every other type of cancer except skin cancer. Even more alarming, only lung cancer is more deadly.
This is in spite of the fact that the 10-year survival rates of patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are 98 percent.
This is because in too many cases men are mistakenly diagnosed with a mild form of the disease when they actually have advanced prostate cancer. Therefore, they do not receive the needed treatments until it is too late. Misdiagnosis of prostate cancer may also involve a false positive diagnosis, or the misdiagnosis of a mild form of the disease as more invasive than it actually is.
The latter can lead to unnecessarily aggressive treatments (e.g. radical surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) that leave patients with unwarranted severe side effects, such as incontinence or erectile dysfunction.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
All doctors owe a duty of care to their patients. Part of that duty is understanding the risk factors for various diseases. Your doctor, therefore, is obligated to be aware that you are at elevated risk for prostate cancer if you:
- Are 65 years or older
- Have a family history of the disease (especially a father or brother diagnosed under 60)
- Are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer (e.g. frequent urge to urinate, difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, painful ejaculation,)
Your doctor has a legal responsibility to take extra precautions if you are in one or more of these categories.
How Prostate Cancer Is Diagnosed
Ways to diagnose prostate cancer include:
- Taking a full medical history, including family history and lifestyle habits (e.g. smoking, alcohol consumption, sexual activity, and function)
- Digital rectal examination (DRE)
- Prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA), high levels of which may indicate infection, inflammation, enlargement, malignancy, or benign conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPS)
- Ultrasound to obtain an accurate image of the prostate gland
- Prostate biopsy
- MRI fusion that provides a 360-degree view of the prostate gland
Depending on circumstances, a combination of such diagnostic tests may be required to ascertain whether you have prostate cancer or whether further examination is needed.
How Prostate Cancer Is Misdiagnosed
A prostate cancer misdiagnosis may occur at a number of places in the diagnostic process. Mistakes that lead to misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to order prostate cancer testing*
- Failure to perform DRE (digital rectal examination)*
- Failure to perform PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test*
- Failure to properly follow up on PSA test results
- Failure to communicate with other medical care providers
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist when appropriate
- Misinterpretation of biopsy, blood test, MRI or ultrasound results
*particularly for men with elevated risk factors
How Other Parties May Be Liable for Your Misdiagnosis
It is important to remember that medical professionals other than your doctor may be liable for your misdiagnosis. In some cases, technicians doing laboratory blood work or administering MRIs, pathologists analyzing biopsied tissue, or radiologists reading the results of MRIs or ultrasounds may be the negligent parties.
Whoever is at fault, our prostate cancer misdiagnosis attorneys will track them down and file appropriate lawsuits. There may be more than one party responsible for the dangerous error. For example, a hospital that provided improper supervision, sanitation, or failed to follow protocol may also be a defendant in your malpractice case.
In Order to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case, We Must Prove That Injuries Occurred
As your prostate cancer misdiagnosis lawyers, we must persuade the court that you or your loved one suffered actual harm due to the breach of duty of care and that the responsible party did not meet recognized standards of medical care. We must also establish a direct connection between the negligent care and one or more of the following:
- Increased medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of sexual function
- Lost wages
- Long-term or permanent disability
- Scaring, disfigurement, damage to, or loss of, other organs
- Treatment is more invasive, painful, or damaging than necessary
- Significantly increased recovery time
- Metastasized inoperable cancer
- Premature death
Not only will our prostate cancer misdiagnosis attorneys work hard to see to it that you recover the damages you are entitled to. We will do so on a contingency basis, meaning you will not have to pay us any attorneys’ fee until we win your case.
What Our Law Team We Do to Bring You a Just Outcome
In addition to skillfully negotiating for restitution for your lost income (present and future), medical expenses, nursing care, and psychological counseling, our legal team will seek recompense for all the pain and suffering you have endured, and for loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life or for the tragic loss of a loved one.
We will do this by investigating your case with the care and precision it deserves, examining all pertinent medical records, checking for any prior accusations of negligence or malpractice, and conferring with experts who will bolster your case.
The Sooner You Contact Us, the Sooner We Will Begin Fighting for Your Rights
We recognize the unnecessary suffering you and your family have been through due to a prostate cancer misdiagnosis. No one should have to go through this ordeal. Though we cannot undo the pain you have endured and continue to suffer, we will do all we can to win you the compensation you deserve and to secure the future for you and your loved ones. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Cooper Schall & Levy medical malpractice lawyers serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Delaware County and cover neighborhoods such as Norristown and Drexel Hill.