How would you react if you discovered you had cancer of the prostate? How would you react if you then also found out that the cancer was advanced rendering it, at the current time, not curable? And how would you react if you then came to understand that your physician either failed to correctly screen you for prostate cancer or disregarded abnormal test results that could have led to finding your cancer while it was still confined to the prostate and was still curable?
Do you think that such a thing could not happen ? Then consider the following instances:
In one documented claim, a man was seen by his doctor, an internist, for three yearsThroughout this period the doctor ordered PSA blood tests that found elevated levels (a sign that the patient might have prostate cancer and which doctors ordinarily agree ought to be followed by a biopsy). The internist, however, did not disclose the abnormal test results to the patient. When the patient subsequently learned about the abnormal result and had a full cancer workup it was revealed that it was too late as he now had advanced prostate cancer. The law firm that handled this matter reported that the resulting lawsuit settled for $600,000.
In the second reported claim, the male patient was not only not informed that a series of PSA tests showed levels that were both abnormal and rising, but rather was told by his doctor that the results were normal. When the patient eventually went to a urologist at the urging of his family, he was found to have advanced prostate cancer as the cancer had already spread to the seminal vesicles. The law firm that represented the patient in this matter documented that the was was resolved for a $1,500,000 settlement.
Far too many men end up in circumstances similar to the above. Whether the physicians do not look at the results of the tests, whether they buy into the believe that there is no need to take action even though the PSA is high or a nodule of a certain size is detected in the prostate, or whether they simply do not comprehend the guidelines and the standard of care for the action that is proper when screening results are abnormal, these physicians cause a delay that brings about the growth and spread of the cancer.
Various doctors are of the opinion that there is no benefit to screening men for prostate cancer (or do not appreciate the guidelines) and either simply do not screen their male patients or recommend against it. Other doctors do not review the results of screening tests. Yet other physicians fail to follow up on an abnormal screening test result and not order a biopsy or refer the patient to a specialist. The result: an avoidable death that becomes unavoidable.
What if you were the patient who received such news. You fight the cancer as hard and as long as you could. Imagine being his spouse or life-partner. Imagine being his son or daughter. Imagine being his father or mother. You help him fight the cancer and you offer him all the love and support you can. You would help him fight the cancer and you offer him all the love and support you had to give.
Perhaps you also decide to bring a case for medical malpractice to protect your family’s future. And you might hope that if compelled to face the mistake and to incur a cost for it, possibly, just possibly, the physician will change how he or she treats other patients in the future so that this tragedy will not happen again.
Monday, February 20, 2012
How Would You React In The Event Your Doctor Held Up Detection Of Your Prostate Cancer? by Joseph Hernandez
Posted by N.J at 8:39 AM
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