Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer. With May being National Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s important to consider cases where skin cancer was misdiagnosed – either because the doctor failed to diagnose at all or diagnosed in error. If your skin cancer was misdiagnosed, here’s what you should know.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer can present in many different ways and appears anywhere on the body. However, be aware of the following signs that could indicate a higher chance of melanoma:
- Moles that change in color and/or shape
- New spots on the skin that were not previously there
- Growths, such as skin tags, that change color or become larger
- Scabs that refuse to heal
Typically, patients who have suspect areas on their body undergo a biopsy procedure. During a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is removed from the area and analyzed for signs of malignancy. Early diagnosis of melanoma is key for a good prognosis.
When Doctors Misdiagnose Skin Cancer
There are many different scenarios that fall under the umbrella of a misdiagnosis, including:
- A doctor who does not fully examine a patient, even after the patient mentions the concerning area
- A doctor who gives the patient a wrong diagnosis, e.g. diagnosing a cancerous area on the skin as eczema or ringworm
- A doctor who fails to order reasonable and adequate testing based on the patient’s complaint and the initial exam
- A doctor who fails to interpret test results correctly
- A doctor or laboratory that mixes up your test results with another patient’s, which results in receiving incorrect information about your health
While it would be comforting to believe that these are rare instances, scenarios like the above happen in doctor’s offices and hospitals across Cleveland and surrounding areas in Ohio every day.
Proving Your Case
If you believe that your skin cancer was misdiagnosed, your first step should be to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
In order for you to receive compensation and hold the doctor accountable for your skin cancer misdiagnosis, you need to prove several things:
- That your doctor did not act according to policy/standard procedures, or failed to be reasonably careful in his examination testing or diagnosis.
- That your doctor’s actions, or failure to take action, resulted in you not receiving proper treatment for skin cancer in a timely fashion
- That not receiving proper treatment in a timely fashion caused you to incur real damages, such as shortening your life span, causing you to undergo unnecessary medical treatments, etc.
A medical malpractice lawyer can help you gather the documentation you need to prove all the elements of your case.
At the Mellino Law Firm, we have represented numerous cases of cancer misdiagnosis and can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve for the egregious negligence of your health. Contact The Mellino Law Firm at (440) 333-3800 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.