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South West Law Firm Supports The Fight Against Male Cancers

Irwin Mitchell Backs Campaign


A leading medical law specialist from Irwin Mitchell solicitors is supporting the fight against male cancers.

Ahead of this year’s Male Cancer Awareness Week (11th – 17th April), being organised by national charity, Orchid the law firm is supporting the annual campaign to raise awareness of male specific cancers.

The charity says knowledge about male cancers is still limited amongst the general public and more needs to be done to educate people about detection, diagnosis and treatments available. This can make a huge difference to increasing survival rate and ultimately saving men’s lives.

Natalie Jones, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell solicitors commented: “Male Cancer Awareness Week is a great opportunity to really raise awareness of why everyone should be aware of possible signs of prostate, penile and testicular cancer. Every year we represent clients whose lives have been devastated as a result of misdiagnosis or delays in treatment.”

Orchid exists to save men’s lives from testicular, prostate and penile cancers through research and promoting awareness. Every year over 37,400 men – from sons to grandfathers are diagnosed with a male specific cancer.

A diagnosis of cancer does not just affect one person; it has a huge impact on family, friends and colleagues, which is why it is important for male cancers to be talked about, understood and supported.
Natalie added: “It is clear that knowledge is power, the more we are aware about male cancers, the earlier we can detect it and save more men’s lives. We are calling on the general public and medical professionals to work together to learn lessons about male cancer and share best practice so that the survival rate can increase.”

Male Cancer Awareness Week is run by Orchid Fighting Male Cancer, a national charity which supports all men who suffer from prostate, penile or testicular cancer – for more information visit http://www.orchid-cancer.org.uk/583/Awareness-Week-2011

Michael Butler Case Study

Michael Butler (81) a retired Radar Installation Engineer from St. Austell in Cornwall suffered from prostate cancer and sadly died on 6th January 2011.

Back in 2006, Michael first began to suffer with symptoms of tiredness and an urgent need to urinate more frequently. A year later he noticed blood in his urine and he was referred to hospital for an examination of his prostate. However his family claims that the results from the test were never received.

Michael underwent further tests in April 2009 and an ultrasound scan was undertaken. Again, the family claims Michael never received results from these tests.

It wasn’t until May 2009 when the symptoms began to seriously affect Michael’s everyday life that he again visited his GP on several occasions. Although he was told that his symptoms were likely to be due to his prostate, no investigations were recommended to confirm this or rule out cancer. This was further compounded by the fact that the GP had not received the results from the tests previously undertaken.

As time went on, Michael’s condition began to further deteriorate; he began to lose weight and lost interest in food.

In October 2009, Michael was admitted to hospital for further tests, but he still was not given any results or a diagnosis.

Finally on New Years Eve 2009 a Consultant Urologist at Newquay Hospital gave Michael the devastating news that he had advanced prostate cancer. He was then referred to a Consultant at the Sunrise Centre, a specialist cancer care centre.

Despite undergoing radiotherapy treatment his condition did not improve. He was transferred to a nursing home for 24 hour care until finally losing his battle against cancer on 6th January 2011.

Michael’s wife, Daphne, 72 said: “Michael and I had been married for 50 years so to lose him has been completely devastating. Our daughter, Clare and I are still coming to terms with his death and I miss Michael every day.

“I have real concerns that Michael’s cancer was diagnosed back in 2007 and if action had been taken at the time, it may well have been possible for him to undergo treatment. I am very concerned that Michael was attending repeated appointments and yet we were not advised back then that he had cancer.

“I feel that Michael was told his diagnosis when it was too late. If he had been informed earlier, more might have been done to help him. I have not only lost my husband, but I have lost my best friend with whom I shared everything. I want answers from the Trust about the delays that may have been responsible for his death.”

Natalie added: “We are in the early stages of investigating why there appears to have been a serious delay in diagnosing and treating the condition. There is an indication that Michael was actually diagnosed in 2007 but this was not communicated to him nor any treatment offered that could have saved his life.  As is the case for many of our clients, Mrs Butler is determined to find out if everything possible was done to help her husband and hopes the claim will help to facilitate this.”