Monday, February 13, 2012

Illustrations Of Incidents Of Late Stage Cancer Of The Prostate Diagnosis by Joseph Hernandez

Imagine discovering that you have prostate cancer. That’s hard because “cancer” is a word that brings with it dread. But possibly, you say to yourself, possibly it is not that bad. Maybe we found it early and with proper treatment I’ll survive it.

Yet it gets worse. Envision then discovering that is too late for that. The cancer has already metastasized to other areas of your body. A cure is thus no longer a possibility. Treatment will at most slow down the progress of the disease. And later, after that treatment no longer works, treatment that will lessen the pain from the ever growing cancer.

But it does not end there. Imagine now figuring out that your physician in whom you placed your faith to maintain you healthy and to warn you of any possible health problems, had information that you were likely to develop prostate cancer. Envision finding out that your doctor had this information a year or more prior to when you learned you had cancer. And picture finding out that had your doctor had informed you when the data was first available your cancer could have been detected at a time when it was still contained within the prostate gland and could have been cured.

Do you believe this will never happen to you? Then consider the following instances:

In one reported lawsuit, a man was followed by his physician, an internist, for three years during which time the physician ordered PSA blood tests that disclosed elevated levels (a sign that the patient might have prostate cancer and which doctors generally agree should be followed by a biopsy). The physician, however, failed to reveal the abnormal test results to the patient. When the patient finally was told about the abnormal result and underwent a full cancer workup it was discovered that it was too late as he now had advanced prostate cancer. The law firm that handled this matter documented that the resulting lawsuit reached a settlement in the amount of $600,000.

In the second documented case, the patient was not only not informed that a series of PSA tests showed levels that were elevated and getting worse, but instead was assured by his doctor that the results were normal. When the patient subsequently consulted a urologist at the urging of his family, he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer as the cancer had already reached the seminal vesicles. The law firm that represented the patient in this matter announced that the resulting lawsuit settled for $1.5 Million.

Far too many men find themselves in positions just like the preceding. Whether the physicians do not review 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 accept the guidelines and the standard of care for the action that is appropriate when screening results are abnormal, these physicians are responsible a delay that brings about the growth and spread of the cancer.

Imagine being the patient who got such news. You fight the cancer as hard and as long as you could. What if you were his spouse, his child, his parent? You would help him fight the cancer and you offer him all the love and support you had to give.

Possibly you also choose to bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice to protect your family’s future. And you hope that if forced to deal with the mistake and to pay a cost for it, possibly, just possibly, the physician will adjust the way he or she treats other patients in the future so that this tragedy will never arise again.