Melanoma, along with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, is one of the three most common types of cancer. The least common of the three, melanoma accounts for around 1% of all skin cancer diagnoses in the United States yearly. It is also the fastest spreading, most aggressive and most fatal type of skin cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are nearly 100,000 melanomas diagnosed every year. Around 7,650 of these cases prove fatal. When melanoma is caught early, it is often treatable. When cancer remains undetected or when a growth is misidentified by a healthcare professional, it may become too widespread to effectively treat.
Several studies have found that melanoma is commonly misdiagnosed. One study from the United Kingdom found that one in 10 melanomas are misdiagnosed, while studies from the United States have found as many as 25% to 33% of melanomas are initially misdiagnosed – sometimes depending on the location of the growth on the body. Tragically, this can allow the cancer to spread unchecked and may complicate or make impossible all attempts at treatment.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. These may present as white or pink spots on the skin, as an open sore, or an elevated growth with rolled edges. Basal cell carcinoma forms on sun-exposed areas of the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma can appear anywhere and may present as a scaly red patch, a raised growth with a depression or a tough patch of skin. Squamous cell carcinoma may also look like a wart.
Melanoma, like basal cell carcinoma, forms on sun-exposed parts of the body. These may present as an irregularly shaped growth that gradually changes in size and color. Different than other growths on the body, melanoma often has varying shades of brown and black and are typically flat or barely raised from the skin.
If you have noticed one or more irregular growths on your body, it is a good idea to seek an examination from a board-certified dermatologist.
Have You Been Misdiagnosed?
The attorneys at Kline & Specter, PC have decades of experience helping people who have suffered serious damage through misdiagnoses. Our lawyers have won large verdicts – including those for $33.1 million, $8.25 million and $3 million -- and many settlements in cases involving missed or delayed cancer diagnoses.
Five of our more than 50 attorneys are also medical doctors – the most for any plaintiffs firm in the nation – helping us to quickly and accurately assess cases involving possible missed or delayed diagnoses of cancer. If you suspect you have a case, get in touch with one of our offices to discuss your options. We provide free case evaluations.
Kline & Specter handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. For cases outside those states, we work with local attorneys in each state as applicable.