NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. Most melanomas or skin cancers are diagnosed because a patient notices a change on his or her skin. Unfortunately, if a patient brings a change to the attention of his or her doctor and the doctor fails to diagnose the skin lesion as cancer, the cancer can grow or spread. One woman wrote about her cancer misdiagnosis in Everyday Health. Despite being concerned about a mole on her back, her doctors initially told her it was nothing to be concerned about. Yet, a year later, when she insisted that the mole be removed, doctors discovered that it was, in fact, melanoma.
What’s the takeaway? You know your body best and often patients need to be their best advocates. Younger patients may be more readily dismissed by doctors who may think that they may be stressed, rather than at real risk of skin cancer. Yet, even younger patients can develop skin cancer. Even if one doctor dismisses your mole, it may be wise to seek a second opinion. According to Everyday Health, waiting even one month to treat melanoma can significantly reduce your chances of surviving. A doctor’s misdiagnosis can be deadly.
What is the standard treatment for a suspected melanoma? A doctor will examine the mole and feel the patient for abnormalities in the lymph nodes. If your doctor believes that you could have skin cancer, you may be referred to a dermatologist. So, if you go to your doctor for a concerning mole but your doctor tells you it’s nothing, you can always still go and see a dermatologist. A dermatologist will have more advanced tools at his or her disposal to diagnose and treat your mole.
What are some signs and symptoms of skin cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, consider the ABCDE rule. A, refers to asymmetry, B stands for ragged or blurred edges of the mole, C stands for color, as in, the mole has more than one color, D stands for diameter, as in, the mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser, E stands for evolving, meaning that its shape, color, size, and edges are changing. So, if you notice a mole that is asymmetrical, has ragged or blurred edges, has more than one color, is bigger than a pencil eraser, and is changing, you may want to go to the doctor. If you notice even one of these symptoms, it is always a good idea to get the mole checked out.
If you or a loved one was misdiagnosed early during your skin cancer treatment, you may be facing more serious cancer treatment or other complications. The Bowling Law Firm are medical malpractice attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana, who help families seek justice after suffering due to medical misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis can leave you and your family facing higher medical costs, lost wages due to more time missed from work. Some patients die or become seriously ill due to delayed or missed diagnosis. If this describes your situation, consider reaching out to the Bowling Law Firm today.
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