Doctors in Pennsylvania and throughout the country may rely on PET imaging to help diagnose prostate cancer. However, some professionals are saying that it may have problems when it comes to accurately diagnosing patients. Those who are not diagnosed correctly may also experience changes in their treatment plans that may not be necessary. This is because tissue in other parts of the body such as the bowels and kidneys could have high levels of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression.
A study was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine that analyzed 407 cases in which PSMA PET scans were used. It was discovered that the uptake was higher than background levels in 98.5 percent of cases. Despite this, PET imaging is still considered to be an effective way to diagnose prostate cancer and determine how advanced it is. The research simply indicates that doctors should be aware that mistakes are possible while using this tool and that it shouldn’t be solely used to diagnose a patient.
Generally speaking, medical professionals do what they can to make patient safety a top priority. However, if a mistake is made, whoever makes that error is generally liable for any damages that a patient incurs. Damages may include medical bills related to additional surgery after an error was made or because of changes in a treatment plan.
An error usually rises to the level of medical malpractice when a health care practitioner or institution breaches a duty of care. This may occur when a doctor refuses to perform a test or fails to ask for a second opinion before making a diagnosis. An attorney will use the opinion testimony of independent medical experts in these types of cases.