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Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer

Syracuse Lawyers for Medical Malpractice Claims

The three major kinds of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Whether it is melanoma or basal cell carcinoma, skin cancer may start out as a simple change to the skin. Sometimes growths do not start out as cancer, but develop into cancer over time, making a failure to diagnose potentially fatal. If it's found and treated early, skin cancer may be cured. It is important to be alert to potential warning signs. Those most at risk for skin cancer are fair-skinned, blond, or red-haired people with blue or green eyes. If you were harmed by a health care provider's failure to diagnose skin cancer, the knowledgeable Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help you understand your legal options.

Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer

Sometimes skin cells grow abnormally in body parts left open to UV rays, such as the face, scalp, ears, lips, chest, neck, arms, and hands. However, skin cancer can also develop on parts of the skin not ordinarily struck by sunlight. Sometimes it is possible to reduce the risk of skin cancer by restricting or altogether avoiding UV exposure. It is important to go to the doctor if you have abnormal growths or suspicious alterations to your skin. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer presents in different ways, depending on the type. Squamous cell carcinoma often occurs on parts of the skin left open to UV rays, such as the face, hands, or ears. Those with darker skin, however, may develop this type of skin cancer on skin that isn't shown to the sun. The carcinoma can look like a flat lesion with a scaly surface or a firm red nodule. Melanoma can develop on any part of the body, even regions of normal skin. Sometimes a mole that was okay for years becomes melanoma. Some signs of melanoma are moles that change in color or size or that bleeds, or a large brown spot with darker speckling, or lesions with irregular borders and discoloration. Malignant melanoma is an extremely aggressive form of skin cancer and it's among the most likely to be fatal. There are also kinds of skin cancer that are less common such as Kaposi sarcoma, sebaceous gland carcinoma, and merkel cell carcinoma.

Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer

If you report an abnormal mole or skin problem to your doctor, he or she may order a biopsy of the suspicious mole or growth. Sometimes, however, a doctor may not suspect skin cancer or list it as part of a differential diagnosis. Or treatment may not be received early enough to stop the cancer from spreading. Generally, precancerous moles can be removed prior to them metastasizing and spreading through the lymph system to other tissues in the body.

Early diagnosis of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, may mean the difference between life and death. If your mole wasn't appropriately biopsied, it can become a more dangerous size or even metastasize.

A skilled medical negligence attorney can help you hold a health care provider liable for malpractice. To establish that a failure to diagnose skin cancer was medical malpractice, you need to show: (1) there was a doctor-patient relationship that created a professional duty of care to diagnose, (2) the failure to diagnose was a breach of the professional duty of care, (3) the failure to diagnose skin cancer caused your injuries, and (4) actual damages. Sometimes failure to diagnose is not the cause of the harm that is suffered, and in that case the defendant may not be held liable. If the cancer would have harmed you whether or not it was caught at the time of the failure to diagnose, you may not be able to establish the necessary causal link.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent patients harmed by a doctor's failure to diagnose skin cancer in Syracuse. We also serve clients in Rochester, Lyons, Cooperstown, Wampsville, Utica, Oswego, Canandaigua, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Delhi, Norwich, Ithaca, Herkimer, Binghamton, Auburn and Elmira. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
★★★★★
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
★★★★★
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
★★★★★
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY