Client awarded £335,000 for failure to spot prostate cancer

This case highlighted the serious consequences of a failure to properly act upon the results of blood tests.

In 2010, Mr N was diagnosed with bowel cancer and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy. During that time, he had blood tests and in particular one which showed a high PSA level. Prostate specific antigen (or PSA) is a protein produced by both normal and cancerous prostate cells – a high level of PSA can be indicative of prostate cancer. However, this was not followed-up.

Mr N also advised his consultants that he had a constant need to urinate but was told that this was a knock-on effect from treatment for his bowel cancer. It was only some three years later that he was referred for a further PSA reading. Mr N then had to be urgently referred to a urologist who confirmed that he had prostate cancer which had spread and was no longer operable. Had there been an earlier diagnosis (i.e. 3 years earlier), Mr N’s cancer would in all likelihood have been operable to prevent it from spreading.

We obtained expert evidence which confirmed that the failure to act on the high PSA result caused a 3 year delay in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, by which time the cancer had spread and become inoperable. Mr N was sadly given another 6 years to live.

This case recently settled for £335,000.