Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Cancer diagnoses hampered by potential inaccuracies

Maryland patients may benefit from new technology that seeks to make up for inaccuracies in diagnostic processes. Although one in seven males suffer from prostate cancer, current techniques for diagnosing the disease commonly fail to catch it in time for effective treatment due to its lack of early symptoms. Annual prostate cancer screenings, often referred to as PSA tests, have also been known to result in false negatives in patients who actually have cancer.

Statistics say that prostate cancer claimed the lives of more than 27,000 men in the United States in 2015. To improve prognoses for suspected cancer sufferers, multiple startup firms have invested in diagnostic technologies known as liquid biopsies. Instead of using invasive tissue samples to hunt for cancer markers, these tools rely on the fact that cancer cells often release small quantities into the bloodstream.

One company's founder was even able to use the liquid biopsy methodology to detect prostate cancer in his father following the 61-year-old's negative PSA. The startups promoting these tests vary, with some attempting to detect cancers as early as possible and others simply seeking to provide medical practitioners with better data about known sufferers. Market analysts say that the most prevalent tests have been administered to around 20,000 individuals whose cancers are classified as advanced.

Diseases like cancer may be relatively well-known, but existing lack of knowledge makes them hard to detect. Unfortunately, a doctor's failure to diagnose a disease can lead to patients not receiving appropriate treatment while their conditions worsen and ultimately result in death or severe complications. Patients who receive misdiagnoses may have possible legal remedies if their doctors didn't make them aware of the potential for inaccuracy or failed to follow through with supplementary testing.

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