Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

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Skin cancer misdiagnosis can be a serious problem. Most forms of skin cancer are highly treatable, especially when caught early. However, a failure to diagnose skin cancer can cause a delay in treatment, leading to more extensive (and expensive) therapy required later. A skin cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit can help patients and their families recoup the additional costs of treatment caused by a missed skin cancer diagnosis.

Was your skin cancer diagnosis delayed? Review your legal options now

Why People Are Filing Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits

The number of reported cases of certain types of skin cancer (nonmelanoma skin cancers) have increased in recent years - in adults of all ages, as well as children. The exact reasons for the increase are unknown, but it could be due either to more awareness leading to more self-examinations, better early detection methods, or an actual increase in the number of people who are getting skin cancer.

Given the millions of new skin cancer cases each year, it's likely that a significant number are misdiagnosed or missed altogether. Misdiagnosis of skin cancer can happen in a couple of ways:

  • Suspicious-looking moles or discolorations are not biopsied or otherwise tested
  • A pathologist fails to correctly identify cancerous tissue

When a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer occurs, it can cause significant problems for the patient. Some skin cancers are slow to spread, but others can metastasize quickly, leading to a need for more aggressive, and possibly less effective, treatments.

Types of Skin Cancer

Melanoma: A fast-growing form of skin cancer that often looks like a mole. Melanoma is more likely to spread than other skin cancers, and it leads to a higher number of deaths than other types.

Squamous cell carcinoma: Growths that start in the outermost layer of the skin, often resembling scaly skin, an open sore or a wart. Squamous cell carcinoma is more common than melanoma, but leads to many fewer deaths.

Basal cell carcinoma: Growths that start in the deepest layer of the skin, and the most common form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads, but can be deadly when it does.

Not every skin cancer misdiagnosis is caused by malpractice. However, in cases where a doctor fails to adequately follow up on signs or symptoms of skin cancer, the patient may have a legitimate cause for bringing legal action.

If you or a loved one had a delay receiving skin cancer treatment due to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, you should consider your legal options. Get a free case evaluation now.

Skin Cancer Detection and Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend skin cancer screening for adults of average risk. However, skin cancer screenings could be beneficial for those who:

  • Have had skin cancer in the past
  • Have a high risk of developing skin cancer (such as a family history of skin cancer, or individuals with fair skin)
  • Have potential symptoms of skin cancer, such as a skin lesion or asymmetrical mole

The primary method of screening for skin cancer is to perform a full-body examination to look for signs of cancer. Doctors use a mnemonic known as the ABCDE Rule to identify possible problems on the patient's skin.

ABCDE Rule for Skin Cancer Screening

A - Asymmetry Moles that are asymmetrical have a higher chance of being cancerous
B - Borders Irregular borders could indicate skin cancer
C - Colors Abnormally colored moles (green, red, etc.) may be a sign of cancer
D - Diameter Large moles (greater than 6mm) have a higher risk of being cancerous
E - Evolving A change in the size, shape, color or other attributes of a mole might indicate cancer

Doctors who detect a skin abnormality according to the ABCDE rule should order additional testing, such as a biopsy, to diagnose the cancer.

Failing to order the proper diagnostic tests could be considered negligence, which is a form of medical malpractice. The specific considerations will depend on each individual case.

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Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit FAQs

Should I File a Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit?

Skin cancer misdiagnosis can be a complex issue, and not every wrong or missed diagnosis is due to negligence. However, if your doctor failed to provide a level of care that other health professionals would reasonably expect them to provide, you might be able to file a legal claim.

What Compensation Can a Skin Cancer Lawsuit Bring My Family?

The types of compensation you and your family can receive from a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit depends on the specifics of your circumstance. Some of the most common compensatory damages families receive include:

  • Medical costs related to treatment and recovery
  • Lost wages for being out of work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

In some cases, a jury may also award punitive damages to punish the medical provider for negligence.

How Much Does a Skin Cancer Lawyer Cost?

Most cancer misdiagnosis claims are filed on contingency. This means that you will not have to pay anything upfront. If you receive compensation for your claim, then a part of that money will be used to cover any legal costs. If you do not receive any money, you will not have to make any payments.

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