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Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis
Serving Clients Throughout New York City for Close to 30 Years
With an estimated 28,000 men to die in 2012 from prostate cancer, it is necessary that people are educated regarding the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of this common type of cancer. The National Cancer Institute has stated that there will be over 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer during this year. The prostate is a gland found only in men. It is located behind the bladder and the function of the prostate is regulated by testosterone. The cancer begins with a tumor. Although this tumor usually does not grow and spread very quickly, it can go unnoticed because the tumor does not have any symptoms. Many men die without even realizing that they had this cancer.
Once the cancerous tumor has spread past the prostate, the victim usually dies as a result. If it is caught in the early stages, before it has spread, the man will most likely survive. It is once the cancer has spread beyond the gland that the situation becomes dire. Prostate cancer that has spread to the lungs, bones, and other surrounding tissue cannot be cured, it can only be controlled. In the U.S., however, 85% of the cases of prostate cancer are able to be detected and treated before it has spread.
Causes of Prostate Cancer
What are the factors which make prostate cancer more likely? First of all, it mainly affects older men. In fact, 80% of the cases of prostate cancer are men over the age of 65. With this said, there have been cases where the victim was as young as 30. Another factor to be considered is family history. Men who have had other family members with this type of cancer are more likely to also suffer from prostate cancer. Studies have also shown that men who consume a lot of animal fat, red meat, and fat, are more likely to develop prostate cancer. When prostate cancer across the world was examined, they saw that countries where meat and dairy were a main food group had more cases of prostate cancer than others.
With this said, medical professionals believe that the main cause of prostate cancer can be linked back to hormones. Factors which elevate the amount of testosterone that is created are dangerous because testosterone helps speed up the spread of prostate cancer. When those who suffered from prostate cancer were examined, it was discovered that they had higher levels of testosterone. It was also discovered that those who were exposed to metal cadmium or those who worked as welders or rubber workers also were more likely to develop prostate cancer. Lastly, those who were not physically active were also more likely to suffer from this type of cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
How do you know if you are suffering from prostate cancer? As mentioned before, when prostate cancer is in its early stages, there are no noticeable symptoms. It is only once the gland begins to swell or the cancer begins to spread that the symptoms will begin to develop. One of the first signs will be increased urination, particularly at night. The urinary system may be weak or it may be painful to urinate or ejaculate. There may also be the presence of blood in the urine or in semen. All of these symptoms are caused by the growth of the cancer blocking the normal function of the urinary system. Once the cancer has developed even more, different symptoms will arise. There may be pain or stiffness throughout the area and well as swelling in the lower part of the body. Nausea and loss of appetite could result in weight loss.
If any of these symptoms are noticed or even before they develop, there are certain tests which the doctor can administer in order to diagnose the case. A digital rectal exam could determine whether there are any lumps on the prostate or a blood test could detect the presence of PSA (prostate-specific antigen. As early detection is key in effectively treating prostate cancer, doctors need to carefully and thoroughly diagnose possible cases. If it is determined that they were negligent or careless in their treatment of a possible case of prostate cancer, they could be guilty of medical malpractice. The same is true for treatment of the cancer. Surgery, radiation therapy, expectant management, and chemotherapy are the most common ways to treat prostate cancer. If you have more questions about prostate cancer or believe that medical malpractice was a factor in the delay in your diagnosis or treatment, please contact a New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
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