What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is an exocrine gland (one whose secretions end up outside the body) of the male reproductive system, existing directly under the bladder, in front of the rectum. It is approximately the size of a walnut. In the vast majority of cases, prostate cancer starts in the gland cells, with a condition called adenocarcinoma.
Some prostate cancers can grow and spread quickly, though most develop much more slowly. Indeed, autopsy studies have shown that many older (and even some younger) men who died of other diseases had prostate cancer that had never affected them during their lives.
What Are The Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Owing to the nature of the disease, prostate cancer symptoms will not usually display until the cancer grows more advanced – and thereby, less treatable. Signs of prostate cancer usually surface when the tumour grows to a significant enough size that it puts pressure on the urethra, causing difficulty with urination.
Symptoms may include:
- Urinating more frequently, often during the night
- Inability to hold the bladder for as long as usual
- Difficulty in beginning to urinate
- Straining while urinating, meaning it takes longer than usual.
- Weak flow of urine
- Feeling that the bladder is not fully empty after urination
While all of these symptoms are known to indicate cancer, they can also be caused by other, less severe conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, where the prostate naturally becomes enlarged. Sometimes a prostate cancer misdiagnosis can take place, where a doctor assumes the patient has an enlarged prostate instead, allowing the cancer to develop.
What Are The Causes of Prostate Cancer?
As with many other cancers, the exact cause of prostate cancer is not known. There are known risk factors for developing the condition, however, which include:
- Age – older men are at increased risk.
- Family History – If someone in a man’s family has had prostate cancer, he is at greater risk.
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet – a high calcium diet is also thought to increase the risk of prostate cancer
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
If signs of prostate cancer are present, examinations will then be undergone to determine the cause of the symptoms. There is no single irrefutable test for prostate cancer. GPs should carry out one or several of the follow diagnostic techniques:
- Urine Sample
- Blood sample
- Prostate examination
- Prostate-specific antigen testing
- Digital rectal examination
- Gleason score
- MRI/ CT scan
- Isotope Bone Scan (to discover is the cancer has spread to the bones)
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Some cases can be cured if prostate cancer treatment begins in the early stages of the disease’s development. Treatments include radiotherapy, hormone therapy, and surgically removing the prostate. Some cases are only diagnosed later, when the cancer has spread. If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body – typically, the bones – it is incurable and so treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.All prostate cancer treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects, including erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. For this reason, many men choose to delay treatment until there is a risk of the cancer spreading.
What Might Class As Medical Negligence In Prostate Cancer Treatment?
The majority of prostate cancer cases present no symptoms in their early stages. Medical professionals tend to overlook the possibility of prostate cancer unless concerns are raised during a routine screening. Symptoms that do eventually present could be related to other conditions, and therefore if the appropriate tests aren’t carried out, the cancer can be left to develop, which can have damaging or even deadly consequences.
When more obvious symptoms are displayed such as weight loss, bone pain and kidney dysfunction it usually suggests advanced cancer with a poor prognosis. If the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage, the probability of living for 5 years or more is only 30%. For this reason, it is imperative that prostate cancer is diagnosed early.
Where a doctor has failed to carry out the appropriate action in the diagnosis or treatment of prostate cancer, leading to avoidable negative consequences, you may be entitled to compensation from a prostate cancer misdiagnosis or negligence claim.
Our Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Experience
Errors arising from cases of prostate cancer misdiagnosis hold dire repercussions for patients. At Asons, we understand the detrimental effect it has on victims as the cancer worsens while they mistakenly assume they have a less severe condition. This is coupled with the psychological stress from being let down by a trusted medical professional. We know that victims and their families are often hesitant to come forward with their claims. As medical negligence solicitors, it’s our job to do everything within our means to make the process as straightforward as possible.
Prostate Cancer Resources
Our guide, How Will A Cancer Misdiagnosis Change Your Life? was written to provide information and guidance on how to deal with a cancer misdiagnosis, as well as highlighting the occurrence rates of these errors due to an overworked NHS.
As with any claim, you may be worried about the potential costs of pursuing your clinical negligence case. To address this common concern, we have devised a variety of options to help you. We help acquire all the assistance that you are entitled to, whilst managing resulting compensation in the most beneficial way possible. We must remind you to be quick, however, as there are time limits in place for making claims of this kind.
We deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of substandard treatment, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will work to gather all of the appropriate paperwork and documentation, whilst speaking to the parties involved, substantiating your medical claim.