Prostate Cancer Solicitors – Thousands miss diagnosis in pandemic

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BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

The long-term impact of the pandemic on the wider healthcare system is now after more than 2 years becoming more obvious, with today concerns that there will be a significant increase in legal action relating to delayed prostate cancer treatment.

Prostate Cancer UK and the NHS

On the 17th of February 2022, both Prostate Cancer UK and the NHS urged men to check prostate cancer risks after thousands miss diagnosis in the pandemic.

Unfortunately in the UK 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer. If you’re over 50, or you’re black, or your dad or brother had it, you’re at even higher risk.

Prostate Cancer UK warned that around 14,000 men in England could have undiagnosed cancer.

If it is caught early enough then the condition is treatable, which is the reason why the charity is working with NHS England to locate patients who have been reluctant or unable to visit a doctor over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Symptoms of Prostate Cancer Can Include:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen

Associated symptoms may include bone pain, weight loss and general debility.  Following examination, if a person has symptoms, then your GP can send you for a blood test which could include a PSA test , may also check your blood pressure and/ or a physical exam. 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.

Celebrities including comedian Stephen Fry and BBC presenter Bill Turnbull have joined the joint campaign with Prostate Cancer UK to encourage men to use the charity’s 30-second online risk checker.

More information on what to do when seeing your GP if you think you have symptoms can be found by clicking here.

Doctors Express Concern

Many leading doctors have expressed worry that the NHS is going to be facing an onslaught of legal action for patients seeking compensation in relation to a lack of prostate cancer treatment during the global pandemic.

In August 2020, The Lancet a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal published an article on the impact of the COVID-19 on cancer deaths due to delays in diagnosis in England. The findings were concerning for those suffering from cancer in the UK.

The Lancet reported a substantial increase in the number of avoidable cancer deaths in England are to be expected as a result of diagnostic delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Urgent policy interventions are necessary, particularly the need to manage the backlog within routine diagnostic services to mitigate the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer.

No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our specialist solicitor Nimish Patel stated that: “ Whilst it is clear that the NHS are under pressure due to the pandemic and there are delays within the system, it is important that if you are developing these symptoms and you are over 50 that you speak to your GP and arrange for an initial blood test and examination. Some GP surgeries are still not seeing patients but they can arrange for appointments at walk in centres which can detect the increased levels early and avoid the development of prostate cancer. We are hearing from people who have unfortunately missed their opportunity to be diagnosed early.

If you or your family have been affected by the late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of prostate cancer, then our team of medical negligence solicitors can help you to claim the compensation you deserve. Read more about how much compensation you can receive for cancer misdiagnosis. 

Our solicitors handle every case on a no win no fee agreement, with compassion and sensitivity, working hard to get to know everything about what happened to you so as to present the best case possible on your behalf.

Get in touch today for expert help and advice on your situation.

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