Active Surveillance Doesn’t Increase Malpractice Risk

Researchers found no successful malpractice litigation related to active surveillance in managing low-risk cancers such as thyroid, prostate, kidney, and breast cancer or lymphoma from 1990 to 2022. Out of 201 malpractice cases screened, only five, all involving prostate cancer, mentioned active surveillance. Two cases involved incarcerated patients with very-low-risk prostate adenocarcinoma managed with active surveillance, leading to claims of violating their constitutional rights. The other three cases involved patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer claiming negligence from an intervention. However, all cases had documented informed consent for active surveillance. This data shows that recommending active surveillance when appropriate does not increase medicolegal liability for physicians.

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