At Cooper Schall & Levy, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys know the dire consequences a skin cancer misdiagnosis can bring, especially when it is a misdiagnosis of melanoma. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), although melanoma accounts for less than 5 percent of skin cancer cases, it causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.
Nonetheless, no misdiagnosis of skin cancer should be taken lightly since such an error can lead to enormous stress and unnecessary treatment on the one hand, or grave worsening of the patient’s health on the other. But while delays in the treatment of basal or squamous cell skin cancer can be extremely challenging, delays in diagnosis and treatment of melanoma can prove fatal.
Our attorneys know how dreadful going through surgery or chemotherapy can be, and how frightening the prognosis of metastatic cancer is. We are also all too familiar with the awful pain of losing a loved one to melanoma. If you are in the Philidelphia area and suffering complications as a result of a skin cancer misdiagnosis, contact our offices to speak with a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney about your best options.
Be Proactive About Protecting Your Skin
Each type of skin cancer has a different appearance, but distinctions between other skin lesions and skin cancers, between different types of skin cancers, are difficult for the untrained eye to make, and too frequently confuse even specialists.
This is why, given the climate and atmospheric changes presently in process, everyone must examine themselves, visit a dermatologist regularly, limit sun exposure and use strong SPF protection daily, and pay attention to the following facts:
- Melanoma, though it can be deadly, is highly curable if caught early.
- Though most skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet light, melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, including on the soles of the feet.
- Skin cancer can appear as a dark streak under a fingernail or toenail.
- Though rare, melanoma also can develop on the eye, inside the mouth, or on the scalp.
- Melanoma is far more common in white individuals than in those with darker skin, but dark-skinned individuals may not notice lesions as quickly and so should be alert.
- Moles or other skin lesions that are irritating and start to ooze or bleed, should always be checked out.
Signs of Skin Cancer
- Signs of basal cell carcinoma: shiny, translucent, skin-colored bumps (white or pink on light skin, brown or black on dark skin), sometimes scaly or crusty. Such lesions are generally benign; they may enlarge and cause localized harm but rarely metastasize.
- Signs of squamous cell carcinoma: raised bumps, rough or scaly red patches that may crust or bleed, open sores that don’t heal or heal and recur, wart-like growths. Removed early, squamous cell carcinoma is benign, but left untreated for a prolonged period may metastasize.
- Signs of melanoma: moles that change in size, shape, or color, moles with irregular borders or varied color (brown, black, or even blue, red, and white), moles larger than the size of a pencil eraser; moles that are itchy, painful or bleeding.
While it is important for all skin cancers to be detected and removed promptly, detecting melanoma early is crucial since its progression can lead to the spread of malignant cells to other parts of the body.
Skin Conditions That May Be Confused With Skin Cancer
Sadly, skin cancers may be mistaken for other skin conditions and vice versa. That is why it is essential to have a visual suspicion verified through biopsy. While basal and squamous cell cancers may be confused with sebaceous hyperplasia, rosacea, and even acne, melanoma is more likely to be misdiagnosed as:
- Seborrheic keratoses
- Hemangiomas (clusters of blood vessels)
- Dermatofibromas (raised lumps of scar tissue)
- Normal moles
It is important to realize that a skin cancer misdiagnosis may be either a false positive or a false negative and that both can result in pain, difficulty, and misguided, life-altering decisions on the part of the patient.
How Our Skilled Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys Can Help
Suing for medical malpractice is an uphill climb, but our legal team is up to the task. We have an impressive track record of successful outcomes through both settlements and verdicts and will provide you with:
- Exceptional communication, negotiation, and litigation skills
- Meticulous investigation, including close examination of your medical records and interviews of pertinent witnesses
- Careful check of the defendant’s background for evidence of previous negligence
- Consultations with reliable experts who can testify on your behalf
As soon as you contact us, we will begin strategizing to prove the elements needed to win your medical malpractice case:
- That a doctor-patient relationship existed and your doctor owed you a duty of care.
- That your doctor breached that duty of care.
- That the breach directly resulted in your injury.
- That your injury resulted in real damages.
Damages We Will Fight to Recover
Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, our tough lawyers will fight hard for damages to cover your:
- Medical, surgical, and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, current and future
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfiguration or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have endured the misery of losing a loved one to wrongful death as a result of a skin cancer misdiagnosis, we know we can never compensate you for your enormous loss. We will, however, work hard and long to bring you a modicum of justice and the funds for final medical expenses, funeral, burial or cremation, and loss of financial support and companionship.
Contact Cooper Schall & Levy Today for the Legal Advocacy You Deserve
We are committed to supporting you in any way we can and to providing you with outstanding legal representation. We will do everything in our power to hold your negligent doctor or other healthcare provider liable for damages and to bring you every dollar of compensation you deserve. Because we realize that you may well be suffering financial as well as physical and emotional trauma, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win your case.