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Man with prostate cancer suing doctor for not reporting abnormal test results

A man suing a Chicago doctor claims he wasn’t told about abnormal results from a prostate exam he took more than a year before he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Gary Cook also named Presence Medical Group as a defendant in the lawsuit he filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. Presence Medical’s website shows the doctor’s office is located on the North Side.

Cook claims he went to the doctor’s office on April 30, 2013 to receive a prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA test, which is designed to measure the level of a prostate-specific protein in the blood, according to the National Cancer Institute website. A level above 4.0 generally increases the likelihood of prostate cancer, the website says.

The suit claims Cook’s test showed a level of 21.91. While that would be considered high, recent studies have shown that some men have prostate cancer regardless of the PSA level, the National Cancer Institute says.

Cook claims he never got a call after the exam and wasn’t given the results when he called the doctor’s office himself.

On July 24, Cook went in for a routine physical and was told for the first time about the abnormal test result, the suit claims. He underwent additional testing and was eventually diagnosed with an “aggressive and clinically significant” form of prostate cancer.

The doctor or a representative for Presence Medical Group was not immediately available for comment Wednesday evening.

The National Center Institute says PSA tests can produce false-positive results, showing a man’s level to be elevated when no cancer is present. Also, only about 25 percent of men who have a prostate biopsy from an elevated PSA level actually have prostate cancer, the website says.

Cook claims in the two-count suit that the doctor should have reported the test results and appropriately recommended follow-up care. He is asking for an unspecified amount in damages.