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Early detection of prostate cancer declines

New York health care providers are among those who have been affected by changing recommendations for cancer screening. A conclusion made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force in 2012 noted that PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer was potentially causing more problems than it was solving due to issues such as unnecessary surgical procedures and radiation activity. These problems typically occurred in men who were not at a significant risk of death due to the slow-growing nature of the cancers involved.

A more recent study indicates that screenings have decreased by nearly 20 percent among men who are at least 50 years of age. A similar decrease has occurred in the group of men between 60 and 64 years of age. Meanwhile, early detection of prostrate cancer has also decreased. While this decrease in detection could be a positive sign, there is a concern that a lack of screening for some individuals could lead to a delayed cancer diagnosis.

Experts note that their concern is primarily focused on the fact that some men may not be receiving PSA screening because it has not been offered or suggested. Just as the screening of all men may result in negative outcomes for some who receive unnecessary medical interventions, failure to screen those at a higher risk could delay appropriate treatment. The issue should be discussed with those in the affected age groups to ensure that an informed decision is made.

A medical malpractice claim would not be appropriate if an individual makes an informed decision to delay screening for a disease. However, a physician's refusal to evaluate certain symptoms or failure to discuss screening might be a failure to exercise the appropriate standard of care if a patient experiences long-term health problems such as cancer due to the inaction of a physician. A patient who has been affected in such a manner may wish to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to determine the remedies for seeking compensation that may be available.

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