The delayed diagnosis of cancer is often a sentence of death. When one of the possible diagnoses is cancer it seems to me that the medical standard of care should include the most definite tests available. The patient should have the right to refuse the tests, but the doctor should fully inform the patient of their availability, risks and costs. To withhold this information while trying to rule out cancer is medical malpractice in my opinion.
CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man says the development of his prostate cancer could have been avoided if hospital staff had suggested an examination.
Chester Bellman filed a lawsuit Aug. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court alleging that the employees at Family Medicine Center in Charleston did not provide the proper standard of care.
“(Defendants’) agents, servants and employees were negligent in their care and treatment of Mr. Bellman due to their failure to offer, recommend or suggest that in addition to his digital rectal examination, that he be given the opportunity to have a (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test in 2001,” the complaint says.
Bellman says that his initial digital rectal exam on June 6, 2001, could not fully diagnose the state of his prostate, like a PSA test would have.
He says now his prostate cancer has metastasized and has been told that he will eventually die from it.
“If the accepted standard of care had been followed, it would have resulted in a greater than 25 percent chance that Mr. Bellman would have had an improved or complete recovery from his prostate cancer,” the complaint says.
He adds that his initial digital rectal exam showed “small fragments of large intestine with mild grandular hyperplasic changes, mild chronic inflammation present and no morphologic evidence of dysplasia or malignancy.”