By Dr. Gerald B. Parker, III, M.D., J.D.
According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer affects nearly a quarter of a million men annually, and is the third most common cancer in the United States. Unfortunately, cancer can hit anyone at any time, even if they are seemingly healthy. Losing a loved one to cancer is one of the toughest things anyone can go through, as is watching someone who is seriously ill. Hopefully, it can be detected early, but that is not always the case. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat cancer, so regular checkups and screenings are the only way to know.
How do doctors detect prostate cancer?
If your husband or loved one is getting regular checkups from his doctor, he should be getting screened for prostate cancer. The recommended testing done for this is a rectal exam and a blood test called a PSA test.
If your husband has been getting his checkups regularly but is diagnosed with an advanced stage of the cancer, the doctor or pathologist might have missed something. This can happen when a doctor does not use proper procedures, or misinterprets information and gives a misdiagnosis. It can be a potentially deadly mistake.
If your husband or loved one gets regular checkups, but isn't screened for prostate cancer and is later diagnosed, there are signs the doctor may have missed. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, signs of prostate cancer include:
- Frequent need to urinate, especially at night.
- Difficulty starting or holding back urine, or a weak or interrupted flow.
- Painful or burning urination.
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
- Blood in urine or semen.
Though these symptoms don't always indicate prostate cancer, if your husband experienced these symptoms or certain others, his doctor should have encouraged him to undergo testing.
If your husband has been diagnosed in a later stage of prostate cancer but has been going to the doctor regularly and shared his symptoms, it may show that the doctor should have run tests earlier to determine the problem. You may find yourself asking if the doctor did their due diligence to help save your husband — and that's tragic.
If detected early, prostate cancer has a 98% survival rate, according to the Cancer Institute. It is up to the doctors to see the warning signs, order the tests and diagnose your husband quickly.
What should you do if your husband's prostate cancer could have been detected earlier?
We're sorry your husband or loved one is going through this struggle. No one deserves cancer. If your loved one went to the doctor, they had an expectation that the doctor was going to make sure they were healthy, and if they weren't, that the doctor would find the problem quickly and treat it. If you feel the doctor didn't do the right thing, or made a mistake in their diagnosis, please contact our law firm today.
We will take the time and review your husband or loved one's test results to make sure his doctors didn't make any mistakes in diagnosing his cancer. We want to make sure that your husband or loved one has a fighting chance to beat this cancer. Don't hesitate to call or contact us, you might be entitled to pursue legal action.