What Happens When Physcians Do Not Test African-American Males For Prostate Cancer Until It Spreads
Below we examine 2 claims that provide some insight into the value of screening men for prostate cancer. While there has been some controversy of late on the worth of testing men for prostate cancer (specifically concerning the PSA screening test) some points continue to be undisputable. To begin with, prostate cancer affects PSA levels. Second, African-American males have a greater likelihood of having prostate cancer at a point before it reaches an advanced stage. Third, in case where prostate cancer is diagnosed early, the patient has an excellent chance of beating the cancer. Fourth, if it is not detected until after it has already spread, there is as of the writing of this article no way to eliminate the cancer. Finally, most physicians recognize that at the very least a physician should have a discussion with a male patient of a certain age in regard to screening for prostate cancer and that conversation and any screening should happen at an earlier age for African-American men.
In the first medical malpractice claim, a male patient of African-American descent had been treating with his primary care physician for various issues, including prostate related issues. But, the doctor failed to properly carry out testing in the years the individual was asymptomatic or diagnostic testing to rule out the possibility of prostate cancer when the patient had prostate related issues. When the man was 57, he came across an article which described the benefits of cancer screening and asked the doctor to test him. The tests revealed that he had prostate cancer which had already spread. The law firm that represented the plaintiff published that the matter was settled for the sum of three quarter of a million dollars.
Look at the other published case of a forty one year-old African-American male who had taken part in an ad campaign meant to raise awareness about the risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged males of African-American descent requested that his physician screen him for the cancer. The doctor performed a digital examination and uncovered no abnormalities. The doctor ordered blood tests for the patient but failed to get a PSA test The physician failed to let the man know that no PSA test had been obtained. The patient was seen again by the same physician 2 years later. This time the doctor failed to perform a physical examination of the prostate and again did not order a PSA test.
Move forward to later that same year. The patient returns to the same medical practice but is seen by a different doctor. This doctor both completed a digital examination and ordered a PSA test. The outcome – the patient, who was about to turn forty five, had metastatic cancer which had spread to the bone. The law firm that represented the victim in this case reported achieving a settlement in the case as it was pending an appeal of a $ 2.75 Million jury verdict.
An important issue from these lawsuits is that, irrespective of any debate regarding the advantages of testing men for prostate cancer, failing to do so may lead to the spread of the cancer and in time, the death of the man – a death that may have be prevented. If you or a member of your family did not have the cancer diagnosed until the cancer of the prostate had spread because the physician never informed the patient concerning testing procedures or otherwise let to a delay in the detection or treatment of the cancer, you should contact an attorney immediately.