Failed Melanoma Diagnosis Lawyers in Baltimore and DC
Skin cancer, brought on by excessive sun exposure and other causes, has become one of the most prevalent types of cancer in the United States. Failure on the part of a medical professional to diagnose melanomas can lead to medical expenses, injury, disfigurement, and even death.
If you are the victim of misdiagnosed melanoma, the Baltimore medical malpractice law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton can help. Over 30+ years in practice, we’ve recovered more than $1 billion for our clients and earned a reputation for excellence. Learn your legal rights and options during a free case review.
Melanoma is known as one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. Caused primarily by ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, melanomas derive their name from the fact that they develop from the same cells responsible for creating melanin, a pigment that determines skin color.
UV radiation exposure typically occurs as a result of sun exposure or tanning bed use. UV radiation causes damage to DNA, creating abnormal melanocytes that form into clumps of malignant cells. Other risk factors for melanoma include frequent sunburns, increased UV exposure due to living closer to the equator or at a high elevation, and a weak immune system.
Melanomas typically manifest as unusual new growths on the skin or as changes in existing moles. They can be distinguished by a distinct border that separates the melanoma from the healthy skin surrounding it. Medical professionals use the acronym “ABCDE” to diagnose melanomas, referring to asymmetrical shape, border, color changes, diameter, and evolution.
In addition to forming on the skin, it is also possible for melanomas to form in the eye, in the membranes of the nose, the gastrointestinal tract, the urogenital tract, and under fingernails and toenails.
Learn more about melanoma
Failure to Diagnose Melanoma
There are a number of reasons why medical professionals may fail to properly diagnose melanomas. These include:
- Misdiagnosed as melanocytic nevi (moles)
- Laboratory error caused by rapid turnaround of samples and a lack of care when it comes to observing regulations
- Cost-containment measures
- Incompetence on the part of the medical professional responsible for diagnosis
While melanomas are one of the most treatable forms of cancer, a misdiagnosed melanoma can wreak severe damage on the body, leading to the cancer metastasizing and becoming lethal. As with other forms of cancer, the earlier that a melanoma is diagnosed, the greater the likelihood of the patient surviving.
Melanomas have one of the highest cancer survival rates, with 89 percent of melanoma patients having a ten-year survival rate. However, it is also the most lethal cancer among Americans, representing two percent of overall cancer cases but causing 10,000 deaths per year. Because of this, a failure to diagnose melanoma can result in unnecessary suffering and death.
Victims of melanoma misdiagnosis may require legal assistance. Over the firm’s lifetime, Schochor, Federico and Staton has filed more medical negligence cases than any other lawyer or law firm in Maryland. Count on our award-winning medical malpractice lawyers to recover fair and full compensation on your behalf. Schedule a free case review.