Testicular Cancer: Misdiagnosis in Australia
Fighting for the correct diagnosis
Ben Smith, a 25-year-old resident of New South Wales, Australia, was concerned about a hard lump on his left testicle in December of 2017, when his general practitioner told him that the swelling and pain was probably just hormonal and that the lump did not present like cancer. By mid-January, the pain had become “horrific,” and he asked his GP to send him for a scan.
After an ultrasound revealed that the lump was testicular cancer, Smith went to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Emergency Department for a confirmation CT scan and referral to a urologist. It was revealed that cancer had spread to the back of his abdomen, and, after nine weeks of intensive chemotherapy, the teratoma had grown from four to seven centimeters, buried behind the bowel, stomach, pancreas, colon and intestines. It had attached itself to the aorta and was nestled beside another major vessel, the inferior vena cava.
The standard treatment would have involved open surgery with a large incision, but a state-of-the-art robotic surgery allowed him to be discharged three days later, instead of spending weeks in the hospital after the standard treatment. “Had I not insisted on the ultrasound and followed it up, I would be dead, simple as that,” stated Smith.
While Ben Smith was lucky to have received the proper diagnosis and undergone an “incredibly smooth” surgery, the entire occurrence serves as a stark reminder that a medical second opinion (MSO) can save lives. Testicular cancer, though relatively uncommon, is the second most prevalent cancer diagnosed in men age 20 to 39. A MSO ensures the correct diagnosis and allows for the optimal treatment plan to be implemented.
WorldCare’s Medical Second Opinion service is available worldwide and connects members and their treating physicians with over 20,000 leading specialists and sub-specialists of The WorldCare Consortium®, which is comprised of the top-ranked hospitals in the United States and is backed by over $4 billion in annual biomedical research funding. The WorldCare MSO service has been trusted for over 25 years due to its impact and clinical rigor, with diagnosis changed in 26 percent of cases reviewed and treatment plans changed in 75 percent of cases reviewed, along with a return on investment that can exceed 600 percent when there is a significant change in diagnosis and treatment.
If you would like to learn more about WorldCare, or if you are interested in offering the service as part of your value-added benefits or to help differentiate your insurance product from the competition, please contact us.