As we head through September, men are reminded about the importance of having regular checkups in connection with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate cancer is the leading non-skin related cancer in men with close to 2.8 million men currently living with the disease. While it affects one out of every seven men at some point in life, it is a survivable form of cancer if detected, diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
As men get older, the size of the prostate gland increases, along with the chances of developing prostate cancer. Age, race and family history also play a role in how likely a man is able to be diagnosed with the disease. The majority of men with prostate cancer are diagnosed after age 65, but screenings are recommended starting at age 50 and beginning at age 40 for those in the high risk categories. The reason for the yearly screenings is so doctors have a point of reference in order to detect changes over time. This is why it is important to have the quick and simple check done every year.
With prostate cancer, cells form in the tissue of the prostate and continue to grow mostly at a slow rate. While there are more aggressive forms of prostate cancer, many times the changes in the cells begin to occur up to 20 years before a tumor starts to cause pain and discomfort with urination, sexual performance or in the lower back and pelvis area. Early detection opens the door for more treatment options and a better chance of survival. The Prostate Cancer Foundation reports that for men who are diagnosed early, the 5-year survival rate is almost 100% and the 10-year survival rate is at 98%. If gone untreated, the cancer cells can spread to the lymph nodes and attack other organs in the body including the colon, making the chance of survival much less likely.
With 180,000 men diagnosed and around 29,000 dying every year with prostate cancer, it is critical that men be proactive with screening so the disease can be caught at an early stage. Unfortunately, sometimes even when you are diligent in seeking medical treatment, an incorrect diagnosis or a missed diagnosis can occur. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury or illness due to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose prostate cancer, please call the experienced and compassionate attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help you and your family obtain the compensation you deserve.