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Undiagnosed Prostate Cancer – Medical Malpractice

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Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer found in men. According to the American Cancer Society there were 192,280 cases in 2009. Each year approximately 29,000 men die from prostate cancer. It’s right behind lung cancer for the leading cause of death in men. One out of every six men will get prostate cancer in his lifetime.

So with prostate cancer being so common, how can this cancer go undiagnosed? In the early stages of prostate cancer, the symptoms can be hard to detect. They can be very mild, even non-existent. Here are four symptoms that are common in prostate cancer.

    • Blood in urine or semen
    • Difficulty urinating
    • Pain or discomfort in pelvic area
    • Swelling in legs

It’s imperative that physicians recommend routine screenings to their patients. Prostate cancer can frequently be detected early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. A second test to indicate prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which your physician puts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. Neither the PSA test nor the DRE is 100% accurate. Despite the fact these tests are not flawless, they cannot be ignored. If prostate cancer develops to Stage 3 or Stage 4, it’s in a much more advanced form and the prognosis can be much different than if caught early.

Every physician must meet the minimum accepted standard of care in his or her practice. If a physician fails to order basic screening devices used to detect prostate cancer and it is shown those tests are required to meet the standard of care, grounds could exist to bring a medical negligence claim, if the patient did indeed, have prostate cancer which should have been detected earlier. The same could hold true if a patient had the screening tests done, but the results were misread causing the cancer to advance in seriousness.

A medical malpractice attorney will use expert testimony in order to define the expected level of professional care. It’s important to realize there are strict time limits within which any malpractice claim must be brought. Although most claims must be brought within a period of two years, the Florida Medical Malpractice Act contains circumstances under which the time may be extended.

Please keep in mind, in order to have a solid medical malpractice claim your doctor must have been negligent in performing their services or diagnosis. Not every case will qualify as medical malpractice.

If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, you should contact an experienced lawyer promptly, in order to comply with Florida’s pre-suit investigation requirements, and the time limits imposed on bringing a medical malpractice claim.

We are happy to schedule your free consultation with an attorney who will evaluate your claim and give you straight forward advice. Even if we are unable to take on your case, we always do our best to suggest other attorneys who can assist you.

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