Patients with prostate cancer usually present to their GP with urinary frequency, poor urine flow or difficulty starting and stopping urination. Associated symptoms may include bone pain, weight loss and general debility. Following examination, GPs should refer patients to a urologist under the two-week NHS cancer referral pathway. The urologist should then repeat the examination, arrange routine blood tests and assess levels of acid phosphatase and prostate specific antigen (PSA). Chest and pelvic x-rays should be performed.
Delays in Diagnosis
Early stage treatment can be by way of either observation, radiotherapy or radical surgery. Locally advanced or metastatic cancer is treated with hormonal treatment. The current research suggests that early or late treatment offers the same prospect of survival. Therefore medical negligence claims are unlikely to succeed on the basis of delayed diagnosis alone. However, there may be merit in bringing a claim for mistaken diagnosis of prostate cancer or where there has been a delay in diagnosing the same for many years.
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