When it comes to cancer, timely diagnosis is critical in fighting the disease. Catching cancer early makes available a larger number of treatment options and increases the chances of success of those treatments. Unfortunately in a recent case in Oregon, an allegedly late and negligent diagnosis of prostate cancer resulted in the patient having to undergo a radical treatment option that led to impotence and partial incontinence, along with pain, distress, and a shortened lifespan. Learn more about late diagnosis and prostate cancer malpractice, below.
Prostate Cancer Malpractice: Late Diagnosis Leads to Suit
The case concerns a man who was diagnosed with Stage III prostate cancer. However, he alleges that a number of parties, including an Oregon physician and a number of divisions of Kaiser Permanente, were negligent in their failure to evaluate his elevated PSA levels for 3 years. The plaintiff alleges that had his PSA levels been properly evaluated, it would have led to a timely diagnosis.
"The plaintiff alleges in his Oregon medical malpractice lawsuit that his PSA level was 6.99 on August 11, 2010, and that the defendants were negligent in failing to properly evaluate his elevated PSA level, in failing to recommend a biopsy of his prostate, and in failing to order a biopsy on that date despite the plaintiff's signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. The plaintiff's lawsuit alleges the same negligent failures on May 2, 2011 (when the plaintiff's PSA level was 6.71), on May 18, 2012, and on May 3, 2013," according to medicalmalpracticelawyers.com.
What are PSA levels?
PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen. This is a substance produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels can indicate prostate cancer, but they may also indicate a number of noncancerous conditions. They also rise naturally with age. As a result, it is important for elevated PSA levels to be evaluated.