You know your body. You know your moles. You also know when a mole suddenly appears or an old mole changes shape. These are both indicators that you should see your physician or a dermatologist sooner rather than later. Instances of skin cancer are on the rise and, left untreated, can be deadly.
If you are like thousands of patients in the United States, you make an appointment with your doctor. You are asked to put on a gown and the doctor begins a visual screening of your skin. They are looking for “suspicious” growths or abnormalities. Unfortunately, visual screenings may not be adequate despite how frequently doctors rely on them.
According to the U.S Preventative Services Task Force, there is little benefit to visual cancer screenings. This is especially true for adults and any patients who are not showing symptoms of cancer. There is no evidence that suggests that these types of screenings have any effect on the rate of death in patients with various types of skin cancer.
The National Cancer Institute says that there were nearly 74,000 people newly diagnosed with melanoma last year. They estimate that close to 10,000 of those people will die from the disease. They further found that there are frequent instances of misdiagnosis that cause people to undergo unnecessary treatments that can lead to adverse effects and permanent scarring.
Any patient who has received a cancer diagnosis after nothing more than a visual screening is urged to get a second opinion before undergoing any type of treatment. Unneeded chemotherapy, radiation or surgery can have lasting consequences. No one should undergo treatment for cancer unless that treatment is truly warranted.
Any person who believes that they have misdiagnosed and who have been harmed as a result of that misdiagnosis should speak with an attorney. If you need assistance in determining whether you should file a medical malpractice case, please call our office. We will help you decide if seeking compensation for damages is appropriate in your unique situation. Your first consultation is free. Call us now or browse our website for more information about our firm.