$986k Recovered for Delay in Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

Delay in Cancer Diagnosis

A 68-year old retired truck driver recovered $986k for a delay in the diagnosis of prostate cancer in Ulster County.

In March, 2021, the patient was diagnosed with prostate cancer after experiencing difficulty with urination. Following the diagnosis with prostate cancer, the patient was informed that his prostate specific antigen (PSA) level of 43.4 had been significantly elevated 17 months before the diagnosis.

In October, 2020, the PSA level was part of routine blood work ordered by the patient’s primary care physician. Unfortunately, the primary care physician failed to convey the abnormal PSA result to the patient. This led to the 17-month delay in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Screening for Prostate Cancer with the PSA Test

PSA testing is used by health care providers to screen for prostate cancer beginning at age 50. PSA levels of 4 and lower are considered normal. The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer. In general, the higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer. If elevated, the doctor may recommend additional tests, such as MRI or ultrasound or a prostate biopsy to determine the nature of the problem.

The contention in the lawsuit is that the primary care physician should have conveyed the abnormal PSA level to his patient and arranged for testing, such as a repeat PSA and imaging tests, to determine whether he had prostate cancer. The failure to convey the result and order additional testing led to the delay in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The patient has undergone chemotherapy and hormone therapy and fortunately, he has responded very well to treatment. Imaging studies to check for the recurrence of prostate cancer have been negative. The patient’s prognosis is uncertain, but the family is optimistic.