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Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis: Melanoma

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The National Cancer Institute has estimated that over 76,000 are going to develop melanoma this year. They also estimated that over 9,000 people will die from melanoma this year. Although melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it is by far the most dangerous. If left untreated, it does not remain on the skin but can spread to other parts of the body. As the cancer can spread to the organs, diagnosing and treating melanoma as quickly as possible is crucial. If a doctor was found to be negligent in their diagnosis of a patient, they could be found guilty of medical malpractice.

What could cause this serious type of skin cancer? One of the leading causes of skin cancer is too much exposure to the sun. When the skin cells have been exposed to the sun for too long, they can begin to change and grow abnormally. The cancerous cells then begin to affect the cells around them and so continue to spread. Another possible cause of melanoma is family history. If an individual has had close family members who have also suffered from melanoma, they need to be aware that they will have a higher risk of developing this type of cancer.

Diagnosing & Treating Melanoma

How does a doctor know if you are suffering from melanoma? There are certain symptoms which can point to this skin cancer. First of all, there could be a noticeable change on the surface of the skin. For example, a birth mark or mole may begin to grow or change in shape of color. This is because the skin cells are growing at an abnormal rate. When trying to see the difference between a non-cancerous mole and melanoma, there are certain characteristics to be on the lookout for. The mole will be odd in shape and not proportional. It will also usually be larger than a quarter of an inch and be lumpy. It may also being to ooze and crust over or even bleed.

Besides looking at these superficial symptoms, a doctor could run other tests to determine if the patient is suffering from melanoma. First, they will remove a sample of skin in order to test for cancer. This biopsy should show if melanoma is present, but the doctor may also decide to test the individual’s lymph nodes to ensure the cancer has not spread.

If it is determined that it is cancer, then surgery may be required to treat the melanoma. This, however, is only if the cancer is caught in its early stages. If the cancer has spread form the skin to other areas of the body, medication like interferon may be required. Whether or not you are more at risk of this type of skin cancer, it is important that you do everything in your power to prevent it from developing. Staying out of the sun and using sunscreen everyday can prove to be invaluable. Also, check on any abnormal marks which develop on your skin.

Were you the victim of medical malpractice?

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our legal team. At the Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC we have over 60 years of combined experience on our side. We understand how difficult these cases can be and so are committed to doing everything in our power to help you. We have been able to secure millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.

For more information, please do not hesitate to call a New York medical malpractice attorney!