Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, found only in the male body. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

Most of us know someone who has had or currently has prostate cancer. It is one of the most common types of cancer. Prostate cancers can grow slowly, stay in the prostate gland, and not cause much harm. However, other types of prostate cancer are much more aggressive and can quickly spread. Early detection is critical because the best chance for successful treatment is when the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. It’s when it’s not caught early, but should be that you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois.

Urologists and primary care doctors should offer prostate cancer screenings to their male patients starting at age 50. For those men who are at a higher risk (for example, they have a family history of prostate cancer), screenings should be offered before age 50. For most men, screenings every 2-3 years is appropriate, but that can vary based on the results of your first screening.

There are two tests doctors use to detect prostate cancer. Both are simple and can be performed during a doctor’s office visit.

One is the PSA test. That is a prostate-specific antigen blood test. It measures a protein in the blood that is usually high if there is a prostate problem. However, this protein isn’t always elevated when cancer is present. So a second test, a DRE, or digital rectal exam, is also needed. The doctor manually examines the patient’s prostate for irregularities such as unusual size, texture, and shape.

Usually the process of prostate cancer detection and treatment goes smoothly. Unfortunately though, we have seen our share of medical malpractice cases due to doctor error. Those medical mistakes that delay the diagnosis of prostate cancer include the failure to:

• Offer (or at least recommend) routine prostate cancer screening

• Offer (or at least recommend) early prostate cancer screening for men at an increase risk
• Order a PSA test
• Perform a digital rectal exam
• Follow up thoroughly on PSA test results
• Investigate any suspicious findings from the tests

Because early detection and treatment is so important, a medical mistake (i.e. preventable delay) can cause a severe negative impact on the patient. Injuries from the failure to diagnose prostate cancer can include:

• Death
• Inoperable cancer
• Much more aggressive, invasive, and/or expensive treatment than would have been necessary (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy)
• Extreme pain
• Loss of sexual function
• Much longer recovery time
• Lost wages from being unable to work
• Long-term disability or permanent disability

We’ve been involved in a lot of lawsuits for failure to diagnose prostate cancer. The most common reason seems to be a failure to follow up on a high PSA test result. An experienced attorney who has successfully handled these failure-to-diagnose cases can help you or a loved one get the justice and compensation you deserve.

There is no cost to start an investigation into a case and we only get paid if we are successful. If you’d like to discuss a case, please call us any time at 312-346-5320 to speak with a lawyer for free.