Male Diagnosed With State 4 After Physician Overlooked Abnormal Test Results

by admin on August 21, 2010

This year around fourteen percent of the 193,000 men identified as having prostate cancer will already have advanced prostate cancer by the time the cancer is detected. With routine testing before the development of symptoms, including digital examinations and PSA blood tests, a number of these individuals could have been diagnosed while their cancer was in the early stages. A lapse of time until the cancer is advanced does not merely restrict the man’s treatment alternatives but also drastically decreases his chances of surviving the cancer. Consider the following reported case to illustrate.

While conducting a physical examination on a 56 year old male patient, a physician noted a small nodule on the left part of the prostate. The doctor ordered a PSA test the results of which showed the level to be 3.1 – typically considered to be in the normal range. The physician took no further action at the time. Just about three years passed before the physician once more did a physical examination and documents that the prostate is normal. This time, the doctor fails to order a PSA test. The man consulted with by a second doctor around 6 weeks later as part of an insurance mandated medical examination. This physician ordered a PSA test which registered at 5.3. This is considered high. The patient then contacted his regular doctor’s office and was told to return for them to do their own PSA test. This test returned a 3.5 – in normal range. The doctor told the patient not to worry and that no further action needed to be taken.

Again, nearly three years passed before the doctor next screened the patient. The doctor again records the nodule. The doctor then ordered a PSA test that came back at 4.7 – elevated. The doctor fails to inform the patient and takes no action on these two abnormal test results. Nearly 2 years later the physical examination shows that the prostate not only had a nodule, but was firm on the side of the nodule and was enlarged. The PSA test now shows the level at 14.1. On this occasion, the physician finally refers the patient to a Urologist who finds that the patient has metastatic prostate cancer that had reached the bones around pubic area and the upper section of his right leg.

An action for malpractice followed in the process of which the physician admitted that the presence of the nodule indicated an “abnormal” finding. The law firm that represented the man and his wife reported that the claim settled for $850,000. This amount included $250,000 for non-economic damages and $250,000 for the wife’s future wrongful death claim. This is the top amount that can be recovered for those claims under the controlling law.


About the Author:
Joseph Hernandez is an attorney accepting medical malpractice cases. To learn about prostate cancer and other cancer matters including stage 4 breast cancer visit the websites
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