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Failure to diagnose prostate cancer can be fatal

The Oregon Urology Institute recently offered free prostate exams — no appointment or insurance required — at the Valley River Center in Eugene, Oregon. They had good reason to promote this exam: 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, one doctor at the Institute estimates prostate cancer to be the 2nd most common form of cancer, after skin cancer.

If detected early, prostate cancer may still be confined to the prostate, in which event doctors may have a chance to intervene and fully treat the cancer. The 5-year survival rate can be 99% for early-detected prostate cancer. However, if diagnosis is delayed or late, the cancer may have spread outside the prostate and become incurable. Sadly, that fate awaits many men in this country due to a failure to diagnose cancer of the prostate early enough to treat it.

One way men can protect themselves is through early and regular screenings — a process that typically only takes a few minutes — starting at age 40. Preventative screenings are necessary for men not only because of the statistical odds of getting prostate cancer, but also because the cancer in its early stages often has no symptoms.

Patients have a right to expect professional treatment from their doctors, including the proper diagnosis of conditions. If you or a loved one has suffered injury because of a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose you, an attorney can advise you whether you might have legal recourse.

An attorney can consult with medical experts to determine if your doctor overlooked recognizable symptoms or failed to order tests that would have diagnosed your condition. In such event, you might be able to recover compensation for your medical costs and pain and suffering.

Source: KEZI TV, “Dangers of Prostate Cancer,” Brian Richardson, July 9, 2012