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Misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer

Misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer

A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be delayed or missed because there are often no symptoms, especially in the early stage of the disease. In addition, some symptoms of prostate cancer can be similar to symptoms of other diseases, conditions and disorders. These include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, urinary tract infection, cystitis, urethral stricture, and prostatitis....more about Prostate Cancer »

Alternative diagnoses list for Prostate Cancer:

For a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Prostate Cancer:

Diseases for which Prostate Cancer may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Prostate Cancer is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Rare Types of Prostate Cancer:

Prostate Cancer: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Prostate Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Prostate Cancer

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are many other less severe possibilities. Some level of memory decline is normal with aging, and even a slight loss of acuity may be noticed in the 30's and 40's. Other conditions can also lead a person to show greater forgetfulness. For example, depression and depressive disorders can cause a person to have reduced concentration and thereby poorer memory retention.

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease, it can also occur from a side effect or interaction between multiple drugs that the elderly patient may be taking. There are also various other possible causes of dementia.

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor, which is mostly harmless. see the various causes of tremor and misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and spitz nevi.

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years, and Parkinsons-like symptoms around age 50. See misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other causes of pelvic pain. This condition can cause chronic pelvic pain or symptoms of urinary incontinence, similar to overactive bladder. Millions of patients may be misdiagnosed - an estimated third of the 9 million women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) or 4.5 million of the 17 million women with overactive bladder syndrome do not respond well to treatment, and may have interstitial cystitis rather than their given diagnosis. In other words, about 6 million US women may have misdiagnosed interstitial cystitis. See interstitial cystitis or overactive bladder, or incontinence.

Prostate Cancer: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Prostate Cancer

Failure to diagnose Prostate Cancer may be associated with the following:

  • The use of a digital rectal exam can result in some small prostate cancers being diagnosed. The test is also only as good as the technique employed by the health professional. Another test called the PSA (prostate specific antigen) is non-specific. A high PSA reading may be caused by prostate cancer as well as other conditions such as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although prostate cancers often produce a high PSA level, some prostate cancers don't which can result in a false negative PSA result. There are also concerns that a false positive resulting in unnecessary treatments may lead to increased risk of mortality due to complications from the treatments as well as a reduced quality of life and financial considerations
  • Prostate cancer often causes no symptoms in the early stages and is thus often undiagnosed unless the patient is routinely screened for the condition. Symptoms that do eventually present are quite varied and may be caused by a number of conditions which makes it difficult to diagnose. Furthermore, prostate cancer that produces symptoms such as weight loss, bone pain and kidney dysfunction is usually a sign of advanced cancer with a poor prognosis
  • Often, prostate cancer goes undiagnosed because older male patients are hesitant about subjecting themselves to the discomfort of a digital rectal examination
  • Prostate cancer may be missed in cases where a digital rectal exam and a PSA test both have a negative result
  • Patient non-compliance can contribute to the failure to diagnose prostate cancer. If patients fail to attend follow-up investigations on suspicious initial results, the diagnosis may be delayed
  • Elderly patients with chronic illnesses are less likely to have their prostate cancer diagnosed due to the fact that ill patients are less likely to notice new symptoms and if they do notice symptoms they will dismiss them as being caused by their condition
  • Some cases of non-aggressive prostate cancer go undiagnosed and untreated and the patient eventually dies of an unrelated cause

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Prostate Cancer

The following may be hidden causes of Prostate Cancer:

  • Genetics, age, diet (high consumption of animal fat) and possibly smoking are believed to be the main risk factors for prostate cancer. Some cases of prostate cancer are inherited
  • High testosterone levels can hasten the progression of prostate cancer

Complications Of Misdiagnosis Of Prostate Cancer

The following may be complications of misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer:

  • Prostate cancer patients are prone to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis due to prostate cancer is often overlooked in males
  • One of the dilemmas in diagnosing prostate cancer patients is the fact that some prostate cancers can be quite aggressive while others may develop slowly over years or even decades. It is difficult to determine the expected rate of progression. Thus, many health professionals believe that people with a life expectancy of less than ten years should not be targeted for prostate cancer screening and if they are diagnosed with the condition, they need to carefully evaluate the benefits of the treatment and the possible rate of progression. It is deemed unhelpful to subject a patient with a short life span the harsh effects of prostate cancer treatments
  • Urination problems in older men are usually misdiagnosed as benign prostatic hyperplasia or are simply dismissed as a normal process of aging
  • Urination pain due to prostate cancer may be misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection
  • Impotence problems that develop in males with prostate cancer is often put down to aging
  • Blood in the urine due to prostate cancer may be misdiagnosed as benign prostate enlargement, viral infection, kidney inflammation, kidney stones and urinary tract obstruction. The risk of misdiagnosis is greatly increased if the patient has a pre-existing condition e.g. a patient who has a history of kidney stones may have his prostate cancer misdiagnosed as kidney stones

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Prostate Cancer

  • Men over the age of 50 who develop back pain should be investigated for spinal cord compression due to prostate cancer metastasis. Prostate cancer may readily metastasize to the spinal cord and cause neurological problems - the prostate cancer cells travel from the Batson's plexus to the lumbar spine. Advanced prostate cancer often metastasizes to the central nervous system - brain and spinal cord. Prostate cancer that metastasizes to the brain may cause symptoms such as headaches, motor problems and altered mental status which may be misdiagnosed as conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • Many cases of prostate cancer are actually diagnosed during tissue sample testing after a prostate resection for benign prostatic hypertrophy or other prostate conditions
  • There is still a lot of unknowns about the causes and risk factors of prostate cancers

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer:

Misdiagnosis and Prostate Cancer deaths

Prostate Cancer is a condition that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer or confirming a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Prostate Cancer may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Prostate Cancer. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


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