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Worsened condition can result from doctors' failure to refer


People in Newton and throughout the nation who are having a health issue or visit a doctor for a simple checkup trust that the doctor will take the necessary steps to provide follow up care, if it is necessary and will do so in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. When doctors fail to provide care that is up to professional standards, they can fail to diagnose serious problems in a timely fashion. This can lead to delayed treatment, the spread of disease and worsened condition.

A report has indicated that delaying patients being referred to an urologist can raise the danger of a fatality after bladder removal to treat bladder cancer. The study from Canada has shown the urgency of general practitioners recognizing the potential symptoms of bladder cancer and acting quickly to send a patient to a urologist to be examined and tested further. Data from the years 2000 to 2009 looked at nearly 1,300 patients who had their bladders removed (alternatively known as a radical cystectomy). The patients were separated as to whether they were directly sent to a urologist or not. Other patients were considered to have been sent indirectly.

According to the study, after making age adjustments for accuracy, 29 percent of the people indirectly referred had a higher risk of fatality after surgery compared with those referred directly. Women and men who had been referred indirectly were 47 percent higher for women and 25 percent for men. The study showed that women were at greater risk for fatality with the longer wait time. The recommendation is that patients who are having symptoms that might indicate bladder cancer receive testing as soon as possible. The study was unable to account for the severity of the tumor, its grade and stage -- these can be imperative to survival rates.

Those who are facing the possibility of cancer understand that every day counts. If a medical professional either fails to recognize the symptoms or does not act in a timely enough fashion to send the patient to a specialist, the results can be a worsened condition and even earlier death than necessary. If a person has been subjected to this or a family believes it lost a loved one because of it, it is important to discuss the matter with a legal professional as soon as possible.

Source: RenalandUrologyNews.com, "Delayed Bladder Cancer Referrals Up Death Risk," Jody A. Charnow, Feb. 18, 2015

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