Melanoma is a cancer of the skin that forms in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin that darkens skin when exposed to the sun. While it is one of the lesser common forms of skin cancer, if not detected in its early stages, it is one of the most catastrophic. The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2015, roughly 74,000 melanomas will be diagnosed in the United States.
Like other cancers of the skin, if melanoma is detected in its early stages, treatment at an early stage is very likely. Early detection, however, is critical; understanding the signs and symptoms of melanoma can be life-saving. Part of what makes melanoma so dangerous is the rapid speed at which it spreads to other organs of the body.
The ways in which medical malpractice could occur in diagnosing melanoma include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to refer the patient to a dermatologist
- Failure to biopsy a melanoma tumor
- Failure to remove all cancerous cells from biopsy
- If the cancer has spread, failure to diagnose involved lymph nodes
- Tumor classification mistakes
- Mistake by the pathologist in identifying cancerous cells
If you or a loved one have a question about the care received in diagnosing melanoma, or you believe there may have been a delay in the diagnosis, call our office immediately. Our doctor/attorney Robert Messey and our nurse attorney Gayle Sullivan will begin a medical and legal investigation in your case.