Skin cancer can be a devastating diagnosis if it is not caught early. If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life due to what you suspect may have been a failure to diagnose skin cancer, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys are committed to using our experience and background to get patients a fair outcome in their cases.
Skin cancer can be melanoma or non-melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer can either be basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. In most cases, skin cancer occurs on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, skin cancer is more common than you may think. In fact, it is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year, approximately one million men and women are diagnosed with skin cancer. Nearly 60,000 of those cases will be melanoma, which accounts for a disproportionate number of skin cancer deaths.
An early and accurate diagnosis is critical in skin cancer treatment. Moles, marks, and birthmarks that change in size should be treated with suspicion and seen by a physician. A diagnosis of skin cancer is made by taking a biopsy of the skin lesion and testing it to see if cancer cells are present. The American Cancer Society has published data highlighting that a patient with a small localized cancerous lesion has a five-year survival rate of 98 percent. As these lesions grow, however, and a malignant melanoma metastasizes, the chances of survival significantly decrease. By the time a cancer has spread to a person’s bones or organs, the survival rate is only 15 percent.