Maryland Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Fortunately, the most common types of skin cancer are rarely fatal, and even melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, has an extremely high five-year survival rate with early detection and treatment.

However, with delayed diagnosis and treatment, the survival rate drops dramatically. This makes it imperative for dermatologists, pathologists, and oncologists to quickly and properly identify, diagnose, and treat all skin cancers.

The misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis of skin cancer can lead to disfigurement or death, when early detection may have been able to prevent either eventuality. A Maryland skin cancer misdiagnosis attorney can help cancer patients or their surviving family members fight for compensation for their injuries or losses.

About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a type of cancer that develops first in the skin, although it may later spread to other areas of the body, including the lymph nodes. According to the American Cancer Society, there are three main types of skin cancer:

  •        Basal cell cancer
  •        Squamous cell cancer
  •        Melanoma

Other less common forms of skin cancer include Merkel cell carcinoma, Kaposi sarcoma and other sarcomas, and cutaneous lymphoma. Basal and squamous cell cancers are the most common types of skin cancer. These typically have a high survival rate, rarely spread, and are seldom fatal.

However, if left untreated, cancer cells can grow and even spread to nearby organs, causing disfigurement, scarring, or loss of organ function. Although basal and squamous cell cancers are rarely fatal, they can be deadly without proper treatment.

Melanoma, on the other hand, is the deadliest form of skin cancer. While melanoma is only the third most common type of skin cancer, it accounts for 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

While melanoma has a 98 percent five-year survival rate if detected early, the rate drops to 63 percent if the cancer reaches the lymph nodes, and only 17 percent if melanoma metastasizes to distant organs.

Because skin cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can so dramatically reduce a patient’s chance of recovery, proper interpretation of skin biopsies and diagnosis of potentially fatal skin cancers is imperative. Someone who has suffered physically due to a medical healthcare professional negligence should speak with a Maryland skin cancer misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible. 

Who is at Risk of Skin Cancer?

Many people associate skin cancer with being a disease reserved for sun worshippers and users of tanning beds. While UV exposure is associated with the development of some types of skin cancer, the truth is that anyone can be diagnosed with skin cancer. In fact, one in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in his or her life.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that Maryland has the 7th highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the nation among Caucasians, the group at greatest risk for melanoma. Each year, approximately 160 people in Maryland die of melanoma, which has the fastest rising cancer death rate among state residents over the age of 65.

While sun exposure, a high number of moles, fair skin, and blonde hair are all risk factors associated with skin cancer, people of any age or ethnicity may develop the disease—and melanomas among children and minorities are far more likely to be misdiagnosed.

Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys in Maryland

Skin cancer is often preventable and frequently treatable; a cancer death due to misdiagnosis of a preventable, curable disease is especially troublesome. For help with a skin cancer misdiagnosis claim, call to speak with an attorney willing to fight for you.

Maryland Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney