Late diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Claims

Late diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Claims

Read our advice about prostate cancer and compensation claimsOur Lawyers at Medical Solicitors can help if you believe there has been a delay in diagnosing prostate cancer.

Our specialist solicitors have handled many different types of cancer claims, including medical negligence claims for the delay in treating prostate cancer.

Do contact our friendly team  about whether your cancer treatment was reasonable or not. Our team of specialist lawyers will speak to you free to charge to assess your case.

We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, our clients do not have to worry about how to pay for prostate cancer claims. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.Even if we cannot assist with  actual compensation claims for prostate cancer, we always do our best to think ‘outside of the box’ and signpost our clients for other advise and support that might be of benefit to them.

Why bring a prostate cancer case for negligent care?

There can be many good reasons for asking Medical Lawyers whether you should bring a cancer case for compensation. You, or a loved one, may feel that:

  • A GP or a hospital doctor did not take your symptoms seriously.
  • Your GP may have refused your request for a PSA test or a referral to hospital for investigation.
  • Test results were misinterpreted or overlooked.
  • Appointments for investigations were late or kept being cancelled and rearranged.
  • Late diagnosis meant that more extensive surgery was needed.
  • Late diagnosis allowed cancer to spread.
  • Late diagnosis took away any chance of a cure.

If you are not happy with your care, you may understandably wish to bring a medical negligence claim for compensation. Medical injuries can have serious financial consequences for patients and their families.

You may wish to try and prevent mistakes happening to other cancer patients, like yourself, in the future.

Prostate Cancer statistics

About 26% of all new cases of cancer in men prostate cancer – it is the most common type of cancer in men. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in males in the UK after lung cancer.

New figures have revealed that 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer in 2015, compared with 11,442 deaths for women in relation to breast cancer. The rise is thought to be because of the increasing numbers of an ageing population and also because improvements in research and screening have not been the same as for breast cancer.

Unfortunately, there is no national screening programme, as yet, for prostate cancer. This is despite the fact that it has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, overtaking breast cancer, despite improvements in survival rates for both.

There haven’t been any big changes yet to develop screening for prostate cancer and the funding for research is half that for breast cancer.

Worryingly, one third of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer already have advanced prostate cancer. This will in part be because patients do not get themselves to their GP early enough and ignore changes and symptoms that are often slow to develop.

Despite the apparently gloomy picture, the death rate for prostate cancer is falling when discounting the population growth and the fact that more people are living for longer.

What is the Prostate?

The prostate is a gland that helps a man make semen, the fluid that carries sperm, therefore, only men have a prostate. The prostate sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube men urinate (pee) and ejaculate through).

The most common prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. The malignant cells become a tumour. Prostate cancer often grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But a minority of prostate cancers are aggressive and therefore are more likely to spread. This needs treatment to stop it spreading outside the prostate.

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

When should you see your GP about your prostate?

Younger men should not make the mistake of thinking that this is only an old man’s disease. Early diagnosis is very important, symptoms can come on slowly. There is the danger that a patient may think that there larger is just getting older and be dismissive of their symptoms but this should always seek medical attention for any change that they notice in relation to passing urine and how often they need to go to the toilet.

Urinary Symptoms

If you have any of the following symptoms and are over the age of 50, then please see your GP immediately

  • If your ability to pass urine normally has been affected
  • Problems with flow rate
  • Any hesitancy and/or dribbling
  • Increase in urinary frequency (needing ‘to go’ more often!)
  • Haematuria (Blood in urine)
  • Nocturia (waking up in the middle of the night to urinate)

You should complain to the GP about the above symptoms. Your GP should take a careful history of your symptoms and how often you are suffering with these.

The GP should refer you for a PSA test and if the results of this are abnormal, your GP should refer you to the Hospital on an urgent 2 week wait referral basis so that you can undergo the correct investigations to diagnose whether you have prostate cancer or just an enlarged prostate.

  • If you are aged 50 to 69, your PSA level is considered raised if it’s 3.0 ng/ml or higher.
  • For patients under 50, if your PSA is 4.0 and lower, then this is considered normal.

However, having a PSA of over 4 does not necessarily indicate prostate cancer, that is why other investigations, such as a prostate biopsy, are required. Your GP should also do a digital rectal examination, where they will insert a lubricated finger into your rectum to examine the prostate, which is next to the rectum. If there are any abnormalities in the texture, shape or size of the gland, further tests, such as a PSA will be required.

Other possibly relevant symptoms

Whatever a gentleman’s age if a rectal exam reveals a hard, nodular prostate then an urgent referral must be made.

Prostate cancer should be suspected in men who have any of the following symptoms that are otherwise unexplained:

  • Lower back bone pain.
  • Lethargy
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Haematuria
  • Anorexia/weight loss.
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms (as listed above under ‘ Urinary Symptoms’)

The above is all in accordance with National Guidelines introduced by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Accidents) 2014, 2015 and 2016. For more information on those Guidelines click here

When should you be referred to a specialist (Urologist) to investigate possible prostate cancer?

If your PSA is over 4.0 and you complain of the above symptoms, your GP should refer you urgently to a Hospital for investigation under a 2 week wait rule as identified by the National Institute of Health Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines.

A Urologist will assess your risk of having prostate cancer based on your PSA levels. They should also perform a digital rectal examination. They will ask about any family history of cancer too.

The Urologist will then organise a biopsy of the prostate. This can uncomfortable so you may require local anaesthetic. This should be organised and performed urgently. The biopsy is sent for testing and they are studied to see how quickly the cancer may spread. This process is known as “staging and grading.” This helps doctors to advise you on which treatment is the most appropriate.

As a result of having prostate cancer, some patients also suffer from erectile dysfunction and spinal pain, although the latter is a potential indication that the cancer is spreading to outside of the prostate. An MRI, CT and bone scan can also be performed, depending on your symptoms.

If the cancer is confined to the prostate, you may be eligible for a surgery known as prostatectomy, removal of the prostate. If the cancer has advanced, you will not be eligible for surgery and will, most likely, require chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Cases we are currently investigating?

Currently, our team is investigating some claims where there has been a delay in diagnosing prostate cancer. In one of these cases, there was a delay of the GP in acting upon raised PSA levels. A diagnosis went undetected for a period of almost 2 years by which point, the prostate Cancer had become advanced. This has affected the client’s prognosis (in other words, his chance of a recovery).

In another case, our client was seen by a Urologist at a Hospital to investigate symptoms that raised a suspicion of prostate cancer. He was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate gland instead and was prescribed some medication. He should have been kept under regular review after this because of the type of medication he was on and this did not happen. As a result of this, the prostate Cancer diagnosis was delayed by a period of about a year.

These are the sort of claims that we can help investigate for you.

Support for Prostate Cancer

Click here to access our separate webpage devoted entirely to where you can go full support if you have had a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Follow our links below to quickly access our information pages about how we can help with a complaint about care, Inquests, funding a medical negligence claim for amputation and more:

Contact our Medical & Clinical Negligence Claims Solicitors

We provide urgent legal advice and support for patients anywhere in England & Wales. We have doctors and barristers located all over the UK, who provide us with meeting facilities, in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Yorkshire, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Liverpool, Newcastle and beyond. Our team will travel to see clients. We think it best to see our clients in the comfort of their own home over a cup of tea. You are not a number to us. Call or email our friendly team free of charge for specialist legal advice on a no win no fee basis today.

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