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.
The most common form of medical malpractice involves the failure of dermatologists, pathologists, internists, and other medical professionals to properly diagnose the skin cancer. In New York, medical malpractice takes place when a doctor or other medical professional fails to use the appropriate level of care, thereby causing injuries or death to a patient. The appropriate level of care refers to the standard of care that a competent medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same situation. In order to establish negligence, the injured patient must show not only that the medical professional’s conduct deviated from the relevant standard of care, but also that the deviation was a direct cause of the patient’s harm.
Examples of skin cancer malpractice may include the failure of a general practitioner to refer a patient to a dermatologist, a pathologist misinterpreting biopsy results, or failing to obtain a large enough sample to do a biopsy properly. Each of these examples could lead to an adverse health outcome for a patient. In addition, failing to adequately treat or remove a cancerous growth once it is diagnosed can form the basis of a malpractice claim.
If you or someone close to you has suffered harm relating to a skin cancer diagnosis, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your harm through a medical malpractice claim. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our diligent Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys have helped many clients resolve their malpractice claims and can help you as well. We can conduct a thorough analysis of your case so that we can give you an honest assessment of your claim. Call us today at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.
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Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor Malpractice in New York, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 11, 2018
Podiatry Malpractice in Syracuse, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2018