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Urology Awareness Month 2020: prostate cancer legal claims


Author: Simon Bransby

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Hatch Brenner Solicitors discusses Prostate Cancer to mark Urology Awareness Month 2020

Urology awareness month aims to improve knowledge around the types of cancers and other diseases that affect the bladder, kidneys, prostate and the male reproductive system.

In this short article we discuss prostate cancer, which is now the most common cause of cancer in England (having previously been breast cancer).

The Prostate

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system and is located just below the bladder, deep inside the groin. The prostate is important for reproduction as it supplies seminal fluid that mixes with the sperm and helps it travel and survive.

Prostate Cancer

In 2018, 49,029 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, making it the most common cancer in England.

Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. In cases where these are slow growing, treatment may not be needed. However, some prostate cancers grow quickly and treatment is needed.

In the UK 1 in 8 men are affected by prostate cancer, with the risk increasing with age.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

There are unlikely to be any symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer, however as it progresses, symptoms can include:

  • The urge to pass urine quickly
  • Passing urine frequently, especially during the night
  • Hesitancy when passing urine
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Straining or taking a long time whilst passing urine
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Erectile dysfunction

Negligence claim arising from Prostate Cancer

A claim for medical negligence following a prostate cancer diagnosis may arise from a number a reasons:

  • Delay in diagnosis of prostate cancer – the symptoms of prostate cancer can often be mistaken for urinary difficulties and infections. If the necessary investigations, examinations and tests are not taken there can be a delay, or complete failure to diagnose prostate cancer. Data from the National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis has found that GPs identified avoidable delays in 22% of prostate cancers diagnosis pathways. A delay in the diagnosis may result in the cancer spreading, a delay in effective treatment, the patient requiring more extensive surgery or even taking away the chance of a cure altogether.
  • Negligent treatment – In some cases, treatment may not be necessary following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, if this is not closely monitored, it could have a devastating outcome if the cancer is allowed to grow and spread. In these cases, the decision to not treat may be deemed negligent. In some cases, complications may arise from the treatment of prostate cancer such as injuries from surgery or radiotherapy treatment.

If you think that you or a loved one may have a claim, you can contact our Norwich medical negligence legal team for confidential advice. Contact Simon Bransby via info@hatchbrenner.co.uk or 01603 660 811.


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