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Failure to Diagnose Leads Patient’s Cancer to Spread

One of the most important services rendered by doctors is diagnosis. Diagnosis determines the medication, dosage, method, and schedule of treatment a patient receives; it’s the foundation of all patient care. That’s why failure to diagnose is a form of medical malpractice—without a correct diagnosis, there’s little to no chance a patient will get better. In many cases, they’ll get worse.

That’s what happened to the patient who reached out to us for help.

Our client went to his doctor for an annual physical, which included routine blood tests. One such test included a prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which came back showing his levels had nearly doubled within a year. This should have been considered a red flag indicating the need for follow-up and referral to a specialist. Unfortunately, his physician ignored the result and told him it was nothing to worry about.

Over the next year, our client continued to see his physician for various reasons, including another annual physical. Inexplicably, his physician didn’t check his PSA levels. Only after our client began suffering additional side effects did the physician order a follow-up PSA test. That test came back five times the normal range. In response, the physician finally referred our client to a specialist. Additional testing revealed our client was suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer. The two-year delay in diagnosis allowed the cancer to spread aggressively, leaving our client with a substantially worse prognosis.

Our client’s physician didn’t make a minor mistake—he neglected what any reasonable doctor would have taken as a serious warning.

As a result of this blatant and totally preventable disregard for our client’s health, our Florida medical malpractice lawyers are preparing this case for trial. We look forward to holding this physician accountable for his mistake.