Failure To Diagnose Skin Cancer Malpractice Lawyer

Failure To Diagnose Skin Cancer Malpractice Lawyer Misdiagnosed Cancer - Skin Cancer | Legal advice for people affected by dental & medical malpractice.

It is crucial for the patient to regularly see the same doctor or nurse practitioner. The medical professional will need to track the marks on the patient’s skin, over time, to adequately establish if a mole or freckle is abnormal. Regardless of how long a dermatologist has been caring for a patient, any atypical blemish should be biopsied.

The ABC’s of Skin Cancer

Certain signs can warn a medical professional that a spot on the patient’s skin may actually be cancer. These signs are typically referred to as “the ABC’s of skin cancer,” and they include:

How a Biopsy is Performed

The dermatologist should conduct a biopsy of any abnormal skin cells. Using a needle or scalpel, the medical specialist will remove a very small piece of the patient’s skin. The sample will be examined in a lab, so it may take more than a week for the patient to receive definitive results. The doctor may fail to biopsy a suspicious location or the test results may not be accurately evaluated. Failure to properly diagnose skin cancer can have devastating effects on the patient’s health.

Stages of Skin Cancer

When it is caught early, skin cancer is relatively easy to cure. With a simple outpatient surgery, the cancerous skin cells can be sliced or burned off. Dermatologists have different medical procedures that they prefer for removing skin cancer, and each procedure will leave a different type of scar. Should the precancerous cells go unnoticed, they may develop into more severe cases of skin cancer. Two of the most basic skin cancer types include:

Keratinocyte cancer, which is the most common non-melanoma skin cancer. When viewed under a microscope, these cancerous cells share many features of the keratinocyte cells found in healthy skin.

Melanoma cancer is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It accounts for less than 5% of total cases, yet it causes most skin cancer-related deaths. It is an aggressive type, growing quickly and spreading to nearby lymph nodes. Pieces of the melanoma can metastasize, or break off into the bloodstream. This stage of melanoma skin cancer is life-threatening and very difficult to treat.

Studies from the American Cancer Society show:



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Mueller, Hansgeorg, Klaus Eisendle, and Peter Fritsch. “Basal-Cell Carcinoma.” The New England Journal Of Medicine 354.7 (2006): 769-771. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 29 May 2012.
“Skin cancer increases risk of second primary tumour.” Nursing Standard 24.49 (2010): 16+. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 May 2012.
“What are the key statistics about melanoma?.” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, 01/11/2012. Web. 29 May 2012.