Testicular cancer is a serious health concern for many men in New Jersey. Like other forms of cancer, early detection and treatment are critical to a positive outcome, and a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose can contribute to the spread of the cancer and worsened health results. In most cases, a painless and hardened lump in the testicle is the first sign of testicular cancer. Of course, as in other parts of the body, there are more benign lumps than there are malignant ones, so many such growths will be non-cancerous. There are several steps that doctors can take to differentiate cancerous lumps from benign ones and move forward with treatment.
In many cases, a physician will perform an ultrasound as part of the diagnostic tests for testicular cancer. The doctor will examine images of internal organs created by the testing equipment. A cancerous tumor should appear more solid than a benign lump. However, some physicians may misdiagnose a malignancy as a benign lump, especially because there are different types of testicular cancers. While seminomas grow slowly, non-seminomas may be more cyst-like in appearance. However, they are also more likely to spread throughout the body.
Lab tests may also be used to assess a patient for testicular cancer. These tests aim to measure the level of certain proteins, called tumor markers, that indicate that cancer is present within the body. Certain types of cancer lead to different hormonal and protein changes; however, a diagnosis may rely on correct analysis of the blood test results.
When doctors fail to diagnose cancer, patients may lose out on months and years of time to fight back, leaving time for the cancer to grow and spread. A medical malpractice attorney may advise patients on actions they can take if they have suffered due to a doctor’s error.