Last Updated on May 30, 2024

Can I Sue If I've Been Diagnosed with Penile Cancer Late?

Patients who received a late diagnosis of penile cancer may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. Late diagnosis can have severe consequences. It may allow the cancer to progress, spread, and make treatment more difficult

Penile cancer is an illness that develops on the skin cells or within the tissues of the penis. It is a relatively rare type of cancer, with an estimated 2,200 new cases diagnosed and 440 deaths in the United States each year. 

Despite its rarity, you and your loved ones must be aware of the signs and symptoms of penile cancer. Especially, when to take proper action if you suspect that a healthcare provider has committed a late diagnosis. 

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How Fast Does Penile Cancer Spread?

Penile cancer tends to grow slowly and may develop over several years. However, if left untreated, it can spread to other body parts, such as: 

  1. Groin
  2. Liver
  3. Lungs
  4. Bones 
  5. Lymph nodes

In general, the speed at which penile cancer spreads can vary depending on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. The TNM (Tumor, Node, Metastasis) staging system describes the extent of penile cancer. 

Cancer Stage    Stage Description
Stage 0 (Carcinoma in situ)The cancer is confined to the top layer of skin and has not spread to deeper tissues, lymph nodes, or other body parts.
Stage IThe cancer has grown into the subepithelial connective tissue (just below the skin) but has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Stage IIThe cancer has grown into the corpus spongiosum (the spongy erectile tissue of the penis) or the corpus cavernosum (the main erectile tissue of the penis). Still, it has not spread to lymph nodes or other body parts.
Stage IIIThe cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes in the groin or pelvic region.
Stage IVThe cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes, organs, or tissues, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.

According to statistics, the 5-year relative survival rate for individuals diagnosed with localized penile cancer is 79%. If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs and/or regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 51%.

5 Warning Signals of Penile Cancer

Penile cancer often manifests in ways that are hard to ignore. Knowing these symptoms can help you detect the disease early and seek prompt medical attention.

1. Painless lumps or sores

Penile cancer-related lumps or sores often don’t cause pain, although they could occur. Any changes that worsen or don’t improve after four weeks should be evaluated by a physician. 

2. Swelling, irritation, or rash

Penile cancer symptoms may include skin thickening or changes in skin color. In some cases, the cancer can start with a sore or ulcerated area on the skin of the penis.

3. Flat, blueish-brown growths

Another potential warning sign of penile cancer is the presence of flat growths on the penis that have a blueish-brown color. These growths may be easily mistaken for bruises or other benign skin conditions. 

4. Foul-smelling fluid

Penile cancer can cause a foul-smelling fluid to accumulate underneath the foreskin. This fluid buildup can be caused by the cancerous tissue breaking down and creating discharge. 

However, note that foul odors can also be caused by not washing thoroughly. A cheese-like substance called smegma can build up.

5. Small, crusty bumps

Crusty bumps can potentially be a sign of penile cancer. It may look like a skin wart, ulcer, or blister. They may also indicate other conditions such as genital warts, syphilis, or other infections or skin disorders.

If you know someone who is experiencing these signs but was diagnosed late or the healthcare provider failed to notice it, you can ask for help from cancer attorneys

When Does a Penile Cancer Misdiagnosis Occur?

A cancer misdiagnosis can occur when a healthcare professional incorrectly identifies a patient’s symptoms or test results. The error can have severe consequences for the patient. It may delay appropriate treatment and allow the cancer to progress unchecked.

There are several reasons why a penile cancer misdiagnosis may occur:

Misinterpretation of SymptomsPenile cancer symptoms, such as a lump, sore, or unusual discharge, can be mistaken for other conditions like genital warts or sexually transmitted infections. If a healthcare provider does not consider penile cancer as a possible diagnosis, they may attribute the symptoms to a less severe condition.
Misinterpretation of Biopsy ResultsA pathologist must interpret the results accurately if a biopsy of the affected area is performed. However, in some cases, the biopsy sample may be misread. This leads to a false-negative result and a missed diagnosis.
Rare Nature of the DiseasePenile cancer is a relatively rare condition, accounting for less than 1% of all male cancers. Due to its infrequency, some healthcare professionals may not have extensive experience diagnosing and treating this type of cancer. This increases the risk of misdiagnosis.

The consequences of a penile cancer misdiagnosis can be severe, causing loved ones to suffer anxiety, stress, and financial burden. For this reason, you can establish compensation for the errors made by your healthcare professionals.  

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Treatment Options and Annual Spending

For the majority of men with penile cancers, surgery is the primary treatment option. But since many modalities also treat this cancer in different stages, these common treatment options are used:

The cost of these primary treatment options varies depending on the process. Also, note that prescription medications and other medical services are needed for cancer treatment. The following are the typical annual costs that patients in the US incur:  

Medical ServicesPrescription Drugs
Initial Care (1st year after diagnosis)$43,516$1,874
Continuing Care (time in between)$5,518
per year
$1,041
per year
End-of-life care (last year before passing away)$109,727$4,372

As the data shows, the expenses are high, especially if your loved ones already have financial problems. We don’t want our families to suffer for long-term treatment of our loved ones just because of late diagnosis.

Early detection must be observed as it increases the likelihood of effective therapy and recovery. If the diagnosis is overlooked, the illness may worsen. That is why it is crucial to seek justice when you suspect that your healthcare provider committed a late diagnosis.

You may view our prior wins to make you feel comfortable and confident that we can help you achieve the justice you deserve. 

Establishing a Claim for Compensation

To establish a claim due to a late medical diagnosis or an erroneous diagnosis, you will need to prove these elements:

Duty of Care – Was there an appropriate doctor-patient relationship?
Breach of Duty – Did your doctor perform poorly/negligently based on accepted standards of care?
Causation – Did your doctor’s actions/inactions directly cause you harm?
Damages – What did these errors cost you?

Our attorneys can help you gather evidence, consult medical experts, and build a strong compensation case

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

At the Porter Law Group, our team of proven medical malpractice lawyers delivers ideal results. We take pride in helping families rebuild after unfavorable circumstances.  

We operate on a contingency basis – meaning you do not need to pay us anything unless we win your case. Through this approach, we can better support families during their times of need.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, please reach out to us for a non-obligatory free case evaluation. You can also contact us at 833-PORTER9 or info@porterlawteam.com to schedule a consultation.

Written By
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
Legally Reviewed on May 30, 2024
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Eric C. Nordby on May 30, 2024. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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