Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

A cancer diagnosis is often scary, but what can be worse is not having your disease properly diagnosed. Skin cancer is one of the common types of cancer, with hundreds of thousands of Americans diagnosed with it every year. While most types of skin cancer are every treatable, melanoma is deadly if diagnosed or discovered at a late stage. This delay allows the cancer to metastisize, meaning it spreads to other parts of the body, with often deadly ramifications.

Medical malpractice caused by failure to make a proper diagnosis has life-altering consequences for patients and their families. The failure causes a decrease in outcomes for patients, leading to more vital medical care and longer hospital stays, which can put a significant financial strain on families, and, while no amount of money can replace a life, it’s important to consider the finances ramification of losing a potential bread-winner and the emotional impact losing a loved one has.

Medical malpractice laws exist to help families recover after suffering due to a failure on the part of the healthcare providers they trusted. This negligent behavior includes a failure to properly diagnose a serious illness. When time is of the essence, an accurate cancer diagnosis is critical. If you or a loved one are able to prove negligence on the part of your healthcare provider, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including emotional and financial losses.

Melanoma Symptoms

Doctors, especially dermatologists, are expected to carefully examine the skin for conditions specifically brought to their attention. As experts, they must ask their patient the correct questions in order to find out whether or not they have other symptoms of skin cancer. 

Some common symptoms of skin cancer include:

  • Irregular shaped moles
  • Moles that change in size and shape
  • Scabs that never heal

If any of the previous symptoms are found anywhere on the body, especially in easy to overlook places like between the toes, there’s a strong possibility that it may be skin cancer. If these indications for skin cancer are present, a doctor should proceed to order a biopsy to test the cells in the area and confirm a diagnosis.

Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

Too many doctors fail to properly diagnose potential skin cancer. This means their patients may not get the benefit of seeing a specialist like a dermatologist. Unfortunately, even when healthcare providers accurately diagnose skin cancer, the intervention may not be executed properly. When an area of skin is removed, it’s not uncommon for the marginal tissues around the cancerous area to also be affected, meaning the cancer is still present in those cells.

While many types of skin cancer rarely spread, malignant melanomas are likely to metastisize. If a doctor doesn’t identify the type of skin cancer present, their patient’s outcomes could be severely impacted.

Philadelphia Failure to Diagnose Lawyers

Medical malpractice laws exist to aid families that have suffered because of the negligence of their healthcare providers. If you or a loved one have suffered because of a failure to diagnose melanoma, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Only an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you get the maximum compensation for the damages you and your family have suffered.

With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.