November is prostate cancer awareness month. Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancers suffered by men, and it is also one whose mortality has not been reduced due to increased screening techniques.
Last year, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced the results of its 17-year study, the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. The study’s results showed that there was no mortality benefit for men undergoing early screening by either of the currently available methods, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal exams (DRE). Due to the uncertain nature of the tests, the NCI doesn’t have recommendations about prostate cancer screening. The US Preventative Services Task Force says there is insufficient data to make recommendations for men aged 75 or younger, and definitively recommends against prostate cancer screening in men age 75 and older.
According to the results of the PLCO, screening methods increase the number of cancers diagnosed, but do not decrease the mortality rate of patients. Although delayed diagnosis of cancer can lead to death, misdiagnosis of cancer can also cause death because cancer treatments are nearly as deadly as the disease itself.
This November, support prostate cancer research, and if you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer, the medical malpractice lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO LPA can help. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.