Prostate cancer misdiagnosis claims

If you or a family member have experienced a prostate cancer misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation, but to be successful you will need expert advice from a medical negligence solicitor.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in UK men, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Normally the disease is slow to progress and the symptoms can be managed, but where a prostate cancer misdiagnosis occurs, your ability to lead a normal, happy life can be severely affected. Should this happen to you, you may be entitled to make a prostate cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim.

Making a Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

Any situation where the actions of a medical professional responsible for your care contribute to a delayed, or total absence of a prostate cancer diagnosis and subsequently delay your access to vital treatment could mean you are entitled to prostate cancer misdiagnosis compensation.

If you decide to proceed with a medical negligence claim, the extent to which these failings have negatively impacted your condition will be factored into any compensation calculation.

GPs have been trained to recognise the signs of prostate cancer and to take swift action where it is a potential threat to their patients. As such, there are a number of scenarios that might be considered negligence and entitle you to claim for prostate cancer misdiagnosis:

  • Where you present to your GP with symptoms that could indicate prostate cancer, but they fail to provide a thorough examination or to refer you to a specialist for subsequent testing
  • In instances where abnormal or suspicious test results are not investigated by doctors
  • Where test results are not accurately reported, recorded or interpreted
  • When the symptoms of prostate cancer are misdiagnosed as another condition

There are potentially more scenarios where it may be appropriate to claim for prostate cancer misdiagnosis, so if you’re unsure as to whether you have been the victim of medical negligence it’s important that you speak to a legal expert at the earliest opportunity.

Get expert legal advice

Call and speak to Dominic Graham, specialist medical negligence solicitor, today. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with prostate cancer misdiagnosis claims. We’re recognised by the Legal 500 as offering some of the very best advice and support in the South East, and when you make a prostate cancer misdiagnosis claim with us we’ll fight to secure you the very highest compensation sum available according to your circumstances.

No Win, No Fee Compensation for Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis

At Blackwater Law we understand that a prostate cancer misdiagnosis can have a devastating effect on your ability to go about your daily routine, creating financial and social pressures that make it impossible to put together funding for a medical negligence compensation claim. That’s why we conduct all such claims for our clients on a no win, no fee basis.

That means if we don’t secure you compensation for your prostate cancer misdiagnosis you will never have to pay us a penny. What’s more, our fees will always remain subject to strict UK governmental limitations, whilst the amount of compensation you could potentially receive has no upper cap.

 

Stages of Prostate Cancer

NICE guidelines outline four primary types / stages of prostate cancer:

  • Localised Prostate Cancer: This denotes cancer that is confined entirely to the prostate.
  • Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: Here the cancer has spread beyond the prostate capsule, but is overall still confined within the prostate gland.
  • Relapsed Prostate Cancer: Cancer that has returned following what was otherwise thought to be successful treatment.
  • Metastatic Prostate Cancer: This is cancer that has spread well beyond the prostate and is no longer linked to its site of origin.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

The early stages of prostate cancer do not normally produce symptoms, as these do not manifest until the prostate has grown large enough to apply pressure to your urethra.

When this becomes the case however, you may begin to notice the following:

  • You may need to urinate more frequently, and this may begin to disturb your sleep pattern
  • Urges to use the toilet may come on suddenly, causing you to rush / panic
  • You may experience difficulty initiating the urination process
  • Your urine may be expelled in a very weak flow
  • You may be left with the feeling that your bladder is not completely empty even after urinating

The mere fact that your prostate has become enlarged is not itself indicative of prostate cancer, as prostate enlargement condition (sometimes referred to as “benign prostatic hyperplasia”) is common in older men and not necessarily dangerous.

You should be more alarmed if the aforementioned symptoms are accompanied by the likes of the following, as they can be an indication that prostate cancer has developed and spread to other areas of your body:

  • Experiencing bone and / or back pain
  • Where you experience a loss of appetite
  • Sustained pain in the testicles
  • Unexplained weight loss

 

Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

The diagnostic process for prostate cancer should be sufficiently streamlined that misdiagnosis should not occur, with doctors well-versed as to its indications and potential prognosis thanks to detailed NICE guidelines issued in 2015.

Upon presenting to your GP with symptoms of prostate cancer a rectal examination should be carried out to check if your prostate has become enlarged. This can sometimes be referred to as a digital rectal examination or DRE.

There is no single, 100% reliable test for the condition, but your doctor should ask for a urine sample to test for infection and look for a protein known as Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA levels can become elevated where the patient has prostate cancer, but also when other conditions are taking hold too, so this test alone is not conclusive.

Should your doctor still have concerns following blood tests and your DRE, you should be referred to hospital for further testing by a specialist. They in turn will most likely perform a biopsy, which is the removal of affected tissues for examination under a microscope. In most cases a transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy (TRUS) will be administered, although biopsies may also be conducted during a cystoscopy examination or via the skin behind the testicles (known as the perineum).

If further testing is required you may be subject to an MRI or CT scan in order to build up an interior picture of your body, or an isotope scan to discern whether or not cancerous cells have spread to your bones. In the latter case, a small amount of radioactive dye will be injected into your veins, which will subsequently accumulate in areas of bones displaying abnormalities.

Doctors should proceed with the utmost care and attention at each stage of the diagnostic process, as any missed details or misinterpreted results can lead to a prostate cancer misdiagnosis and subsequently a great deal of unnecessary suffering for the patient.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

There is no definitive cause for the onset of prostate cancer, but a number of factors can elevate your risk of the disease:

  • Your risk increases after the age of 50
  • Those of African-Caribbean and African descent are known to be at higher risk of prostate cancer, with men of Asian descent at markedly lower risk
  • If a close male relative contracted the disease before the age of 60, or if one of your female relatives has contracted breast cancer you may be at greater risk yourself
  • Being overweight or obese has been linked with a higher prostate cancer risk
  • Regular exercise has been observed to lower your risk
  • Early evidence suggests that a diet high in calcium could elevate your risk of prostate cancer

Treatment of Prostate Cancer

A team of specialists from a number of related fields, known as multidisciplinary team (MDT) should meet to discuss the nature and course of any prospective treatment. The stage your prostate cancer has reached and whether or not it has spread should form the basis of this discussion, as well as your underlying health and state of mind.

Treatment paths are known to include:

  • Simply keeping your cancer under surveillance, as prostate cancer is frequently slow to develop and may not pose a significant threat for many years
  • Radical Prostatectomy: The complete removal of your prostate gland in order to tackle a localised prostate cancer or locally-advanced prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy: Where radiation is used in a targeted manner to attack and destroy cancer cells
  • Brachytherapy: A form of radiotherapy that is actually administered within the prostate gland
  • Hormone Therapy: Often used in conjunction with radiotherapy to reduce the chances of cancer recurring at a later date
  • Trans-urethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): Removal of affected pieces of the prostate using a thin metal wire with a loop at the end, which is inserted through the urethra
  • High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): Typically used to tackle localised prostate cancer by sending high frequency soundwaves through the wall of the rectum, killing cancerous cells by heating them to an extreme temperature
  • Cryotherapy: A means of killing cancer through rapid freezing, normally used to address localised prostate cancer
  • Chemotherapy: The use of powerful medications to interfere with and destroy cancerous cells, this is not a cure but a means of keeping the disease in check
  • Steroids: Potent steroids such as dexamethasone may be used to tackle hormone therapy-resistant cancers and act to shrink tumours / inhibit their growth

Where a prostate cancer misdiagnosis occurs, it increases the likelihood of you requiring more aggressive, interventionist treatment. This can carry a greater risk of side effects, and your overall prognosis may look less positive than it might have otherwise. Where this can be demonstrated it will have a significant impact on any prospective compensation claim you make.

Specialists in Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Our medical negligence solicitors handle cancer misdiagnosis claims pertaining to a diverse array of the disease’s various forms. We’ve successfully handled skin cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer misdiagnosis claims [A1] and look forward to providing advice and support to anyone who has been subjected to a negligent misdiagnosis.

Whether you want to make a claim or just need more information before you decide, you’re welcome to speak to one of our experts today. Time restrictions can apply in some cases however, so it’s important to get in contact at your earliest possible convenience.

 

Get expert legal advice

Call and speak to Dominic Graham, specialist medical negligence solicitor, today. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke causing life-limiting disability.


 

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