Prostate cancer is a deadly and often misdiagnosed disease. The great majority of complaints concerning treatment of prostate cancer have involved a failure to diagnose and discover the disease in its early stages. Also, patients have complained of the failure to administer the appropriate treatment once the disease has been diagnosed.
Surprisingly, it appears that such complaints could be avoided if physicians did at least one of two things:
- Have some sort of procedure in place that would prompt physicians to follow-up on results of investigations and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests; and
- Clearly communicate the findings of any abnormality along with making specific referrals to the patient.
These seem like simple, commonsense approaches to such a problem, but the fact that so many complaints persist is an indication that such procedures are not put in place or followed. Though these types of procedures are a start, an attorney experienced in the area of medical malpractice should be consulted if these types of questions are not answered by the doctors or medical providers.
When decisions are made whether to conduct or not conduct a particular test, the patient also needs to be included on the decision making process and have all of his options clearly explained. This should apply to all procedures and not just those concerning cancer related illness. Yet the fact that it is not always done even in the face of such concerns indicates why medical malpractice claims remain so prevalent. Frequently only a lawsuit or threat of lawsuit will motivate hospitals and medical providers to implement procedures that may save patients' lives.
Source: PULSE, "GP hit by patient complaints over prostate cancer diagnosis," Oct. 25, 2011