Ohio patients should be aware of the effect new guidelines for Prostate cancer screenings are having on rates of early-stage detection. The Preventative Services Task Force determined in 2012 that the antigen test (specific to the prostate) was more harmful than beneficial to patients, often leading to unnecessary treatments such as surgery and radiation. The Task Force noted that the tested men were at a low risk of dying from the typically slow-growing cancer.
An independent panel of experts determined that PSA screening should be reserved for those who are classified at a high risk of disease, including men with a familial history of cancer as well as African-American men. Screening and early-stage detection rates have dropped since the recommendation, according to research in the Journal of the American Medical Association. One Vanderbilt University physician states that this is a concerning trend because it does not mean that the actual incidence of Prostate cancer is falling, but rather that it is not being detected as often.
In a recent study, it was discovered that PSA screening fell by 18 percent between the years 2010 and 2013 among male patients ages 50 and older. Another study identified a similar decline in screening rates among men ages 60-64. One physician explained that the decline in numbers could only be positive if it is caused by patients and doctors coming to a conscious decision not to pursue testing.
Patients who were harmed by unnecessary cancer treatment as a result of a PSA exam, or those who faced delayed treatment due to a doctor's negligent refusal to implement proper screening, may be eligible for compensation. Medical professional negligence that leads to lasting physical or mental consequences for the patient may result in damages for medical bills, medication costs and lost wages. A malpractice lawyer may be able to help these patients receive the compensation they deserve.