In many cases, cancer brings on some serious symptoms, such as pain or unexplained weight loss. However, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is always the case. Especially early on in the disease's progression, it may not have any symptoms at all.
Take prostate cancer, for example. It's a fairly common and very dangerous type of cancer that can prove to be deadly for those who get diagnosed. As with most types of cancer, early diagnosis is important.
As it progresses, it can lead to things like:
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in urine and/or seminal fluid
- Pain and discomfort from the enlarged prostate while sitting
- Hip and back pain
All of these things happen after the cancer is fairly advanced, though, in most cases. Some of them, like weight loss and fatigue, often only enter the picture when the cancer moves beyond the prostate. Men with early-stage prostate cancer may feel as healthy as they ever have.
This is why doctors often do early check-ups and screenings. A PSA test or DRE may be able to find the cancer, or at least alert doctors to the fact that it may be present, long before a patient has any symptoms at all. This allows the doctors to treat the disease earlier and hopefully have more positive results.
As you can imagine, though, it makes a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose even more problematic. If the doctor runs the tests and says everything is fine, the patient may have no reason to doubt them. This can cause significant harm, though, and people must know what legal options they have.