If you happen to spot a mole or other growth on your skin, don’t ignore it. It could be melanoma, one of the most common forms of cancer, with 65,000 new cases diagnosed nationally each year.

Fortunately, skin cancer, when caught early, can be successfully treated before it can spread to other parts of the body. But when a medical error results in melanoma left untreated, the result can be tragic. Skin cancer results in 9,000 fatalities annually.

Did you or a loved one suffer serious injury or death as the result of a melanoma misdiagnosis? If you feel that happened, you should contact a melanoma attorney at Kline & Specter, PC or call us at 800-243-1100 today for a free evaluation of your case.

The law firm has the expertise to litigate serious melanoma cases. We have 60 attorneyss, five of whom are also highly skilled medical doctors.

What causes melanoma?

Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and other sources, such as tanning beds, can cause skin cancer. While melanomas can develop anywhere on the body, they are most likely to occur on those areas that have been exposed to UV rays, such as legs, arms, the back and face.

Serious skin cancer cases are on the rise, with the rate of new cases doubling since the 1980s.

What Entitles a Melanoma Patient to Compensation?

According to a study by the National Institute of Health, 30 percent of melanomas were incorrectly diagnosed at the first medical visit. It is considered medical malpractice when a medical professional fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses melanomas on the skin. These incorrect diagnoses can lead to high medical expenses, injury, disfigurement, and life-threatening complications. Not diagnosing cancer cells in a timely manner can lead to severe health consequences for melanoma patients, mainly because melanoma can be treatable when detected early. Many melanoma patients can be eligible for compensation if they have experienced an incorrect diagnosis from a medical professional.

How Does Melanoma Malpractice Happen?

Because melanoma presents on the skin, it can be easy to detect. However, there is a chance that many doctors and medical professionals may fail to recognize when spots on the skin can be cancer rather than just a mole, freckle, or other body mark. When a patient points out a spot on the skin to their doctor, and the doctor fails to recognize it as cancer, this can be considered melanoma malpractice and can result in increasingly difficult treatment for the patient.

Signs and Treatment

You can generally spot melanoma as a change in an existing mole or the development of a new dark spot on your skin. The spot may also feel itchy, bleed, or be ulcerated.

A dermatologist can often notice a melanoma through a head-to-toe visual inspection. Once a suspected melanoma is noted, a follow-up biopsy can determine if the growth is cancerous. Suspected skin cancers can be removed. Treated early, melanomas are highly treatable; left untreated, they can be deadly.

How to Protect Yourself from Melanoma Malpractice

One way to avoid melanoma malpractice is to perform skin exams on yourself. This can be done by looking for lesions or bumps on the skin that seem irregular. Monitoring any changes is crucial. If you notice changes to these lesions or bumps, such as elevation, pain, itching, bleeding, or burning, it may be a sign to ask your doctor to conduct a biopsy. If your doctor does not believe a biopsy is necessary, seeking a second opinion from another medical professional is recommended. A board-certified dermatologist can provide a comprehensive skin cancer screening.

Schedule a Client Consultation

If you or someone you know has suffered from the consequences of melanoma malpractice, now is the time to set up a consultation to discuss melanoma litigation with the highly experienced lawyers at Kline & Specter. Our law firm has offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. For cases outside those states, we work with local attorneys in each state as applicable.