Cancer is a word that many Texans hate to hear. It can spark bad memories of loved ones who were overcome by the disease, or it may cause fear for the potential that one may become inflicted by it. Although this disease continues to be deadly for many, advances in detection and treatment have improved the prognoses of many. However, effective treatment of cancer often requires quick detection.
Prostate cancer is an example of a treatable cancer if caught early. This cancer is amongst the most common in men, especially those who are older, have a family history of prostate cancer, and those who are obese. Since this type of cancer is so common, some medical professionals recommend screening beginning at age 50. Those who possess additional risk factors may be recommended to start screening even sooner.
So, how do doctors detect prostate cancer? One way is through a rectal exam. Although uncomfortable, this may be one of the easiest ways for a doctor to detect whether there are any abnormalities to the prostate. Another test that can be conducted is a blood test that seeks to determine if there is an abnormal amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. If there is, then it could be a sign of cancer. These two tests are the best way to detect prostate cancer early, but additional testing, such as ultrasounds, biopsy and MRI fusion can help confirm whether cancer exists.
It is without question that this testing is susceptible to human error. To start with, a doctor may fail to order the appropriate tests. Yet, even when the right testing is conducted, it may be carried out erroneously, or a medical professional may simply misinterpret test results. When this happens, a patient can be left with additional medical expenses and even a decreased chance of survival. In these instances, victims who want to hold doctors accountable for their negligence should consider pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit on the basis of a failure to diagnose.