$1.245 Million for Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer

A 50-year old man had his routine physical, including a prostate exam and blood tests. His PSA (prostate specific antigen, a marker for prostate cancer) was normal at 1.0ng/MI (0-4 is normal) and his prostate was normal. He changed doctors due to a change in his health insurance and then four years later, was forced to change doctors again due to insurance. During his next physical, his PSA was 44.9ng/MI -- an increase of more than 400%. A biopsy confirmed prostate cancer which had spread outside the prostate and deemed incurable. During the four years he was a patient of the second medical practice, he was never screened for prostate cancer. The defense argued that 'evidence based medicine' does not support preventive testing because there is insufficient evidence to conclude that early detection of prostate cancer saves lives. The plaintiff successfully argued that prostate cancer screening should occur annually; and, that had timely screening been done, his cancer would have been detected at a time it was curable. The jury awarded the victim $1.245 million.

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