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Test for prostate cancer may save lives

It has been estimated that one out of every seven men will eventually develop prostate cancer. When that cancer is not diagnosed in its early stages, it may spread quickly, making the long-term prognosis of a New Mexico male who has it less hopeful.

Unfortunately, prostate cancer often shows few symptoms when it is in its earlier stages. While some forms of the cancer are slow-growing, others are much more aggressive and can spread quickly. In 2015, more than 27,000 American men who had this disease died, although in some cases the death was attributed to another cause such as heart disease.

In order to diagnose this cancer, doctors routinely give their male patients annual PSA screenings. These tests unfortunately often give false negative results when a person actually does have prostate cancer present. A California entrepreneur has developed a test that uses computer technology to check for fragmentary DNA of prostate cancer cells in the blood. The entrepreneur's dad had received a negative PSA test result, but he tested positive with the entrepreneur's test. It was then found that the father had an aggressive form of cancer.

A doctor's failure to diagnose cancer early may result in the patient's prognosis being much worse. In some cases, the patient may die. Families of people who die because of a doctor's failure to diagnose their loved ones may want to meet with medical malpractice lawyers to see if they should seek compensation for their losses. A lawyer can often provide an honest evaluation about whether a particular case is likely winnable after reviewing the patient's hospital records and obtaining the opinion of medical experts.

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