Prostate Cancer - Don't Take No For An Answer
It's common knowledge that men are often reluctant to go to the doctors, but when the signs of prostate cancer are evident, it's important to go to your GP and demand you get tested.If you're refused a test, it could have wide reaching consequences.
Doctor Ignoring Your Symptoms?
Prostate cancer is yet to reach the prominence or scientific breakthroughs that breast cancer has for women. In the NHS, only two tests are recognised for prostate cancer - the PSA blood test and a digital rectal examination. The PSA test measures the amount of protein in the blood. It's normal for it to elevate as you get older but a raised PSA level may indicate prostate cancer. Neither of these tests are particularly accurate and because of this GPs are reluctant to proceed with them to lessen the amount of over-diagnosing and invasive tests.
This is leading to a number of men having their symptoms dismissed as "peeing issues"
due to their age (they're potentially over 50) or having it simply being dismissed as part of the ageing process.
If you are over 50, and you have concerns that you may be at risk of prostate cancer and your GP has refused you a PSA test you should:
- Explain that you are entitled to a PSA test
- Try another GP or practice nurse
- Complain to your GP
40,000 New Cases Every Year
There is currently no screening process for prostate cancer, so chasing up your GP or finding a new one that will test your symptoms is essential to catching your cancer early. One of the reasons, as detailed by Prostate Cancer UK, as to why there is no screening process, is that the current PSA blood test is not accurate enough at finding the cancer early enough.
If you do go to another GP after being turned down by your own and discovering you have prostate cancer
, you may have a claim for medical negligence.
According to NHS Choices
, around 40,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year and in 2012 there were nearly 11,000 deaths from the disease. In 2010-2011 the survival rate for prostate cancer was 84% but this could be even better if the cancer was caught earlier. Medical professional, doctors and nurses need to be aware the refusing men tests is putting them at risk of more aggressive forms of cancer that are harder to treat and harder to survive.
If your medical professionals have already failed you and diagnosed you too late, then you should seek medical negligence compensation
. Compensation can not only help you to make yourself comfortable during your treatment and afterwards, if you pass away as a result of your GP's negligence it can help to take care of your family when you're gone.