Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is generally a very treatable disease, and men that are diagnosed early typically receive a good prognosis. If a doctor fails to promptly address concerning symptoms or perform recommended tests, though, the failure to diagnose prostate cancer can lead to devastating consequences. If your physician neglected to identify your prostate cancer in a prompt manner, you may be able to recover compensation and should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are adept at helping people harmed by incompetent medical care seek damages for their losses, and if you hire us, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to help you seek a just result.Identifying Prostate Cancer
There are certain tests doctors recommend men undergo when they reach a certain age, to ensure and maintain prostate health. For example, when men turn 45, doctors typically recommend that they undergo an exam to check for tumors or abnormalities in the prostate. Further, when men turn 55, it is often suggested that blood tests be conducted to test their prostate specific antigens (PSA), as high levels may be indicative of an abnormality such as cancer. In addition to standard testing, physicians will usually prescribe diagnostic testing such as ultrasounds, MRIs, or biopsies if a man presents with certain symptoms, such as blood in the urine, painful urination and difficulty urinating, and pain in the upper legs and lower back.Proving Harm Caused by a Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is commonly thought of as one of the most curable cancers, especially when it is caught early. If a doctor fails to direct a patient to undergo diagnostic screening tests or does not observe or follow-up on abnormal findings, prostate cancer may not be diagnosed. In many instances this may result in the cancer spreading to nearby lymph nodes and eventually to other parts of the body. In such cases, the patient may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the health care providers that failed to see a cancer occurrence.
In Maryland, a plaintiff in a lawsuit arising out of inadequate medical care will typically set forth a negligence claim against the defendant. Thus, to prove liability, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to treat the plaintiff in compliance with the appropriate standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional that practices in the same specialty would provide when presented with similar circumstances. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s acts or omissions represent a breach of the standard. Finally, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, the plaintiff must show that he would not have suffered a decline in his health or other damages if the defendant had provided him with the care that met or exceeded the standard.
The standard of care that applies to medical professionals and whether a doctor’s conduct complies with the standard is beyond the understanding of the average person. As such, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case typically must retain an expert that practices in the same specialty as the defendant, to explain the standard of care and to testify that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff will most likely need to retain a second expert as well, to offer an opinion regarding the detrimental effects of the defendant’s negligence and to explain what treatment the plaintiff will need in the future.Speak to a Trusted Baltimore Lawyer
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer often respond well to treatment. However, a failure to diagnose prostate cancer at an early stage may result in the cancer spreading and causing a significant decline in health. If your doctor failed to diagnose you with prostate cancer and you suffered harm as a result, you may be able to pursue claims for damages and should meet with a lawyer. At Arfaa Law Group, our trusted attorneys will gather the facts and evidence needed to help you seek a successful outcome. Our office is in Baltimore, and we regularly assist people throughout the city with medical malpractice claims. You can contact us at (410) 889-1850 or via the form online to set up a conference.