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Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

Misdiagnosis Lawyers Representing Patients in Baltimore and Surrounding Areas

If you or someone close to you has been harmed due to a doctor's failure to diagnose melanoma, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. While no amount of money can undo what you have gone through, the money can help pay for the bills that patients often face after an incident of medical malpractice, such as the cost of additional treatment. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore misdiagnosis lawyers can meticulously review your case and determine if malpractice occurred. We are renowned throughout the State of Maryland for the substantial verdicts and settlements that we have secured for injured patients in this complicated area of the law.

Injuries Caused by a Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

Each year, about one million men and women are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States. Nearly 60,000 of those skin cancer cases are the melanoma form of skin cancer, which accounts for a disproportionate number of skin cancer deaths. While melanoma is the fifth-most common cancer among men and seventh-most common among women, it is highly treatable when it is diagnosed early. In fact, the 10-year survival rate among all those treated for melanoma is 89 percent.

Melanoma is a potentially deadly skin cancer. Specifically, it is a tumor of melanin-forming cells, typically a malignant tumor. Signs of a melanoma may include a change in an existing mole or the development of an unusual growth or a new, pigmented growth on the skin. Melanomas can appear anywhere on the body. When skin looks abnormal or suspect, doctors may order a biopsy of the tissue to figure out whether it is benign or evidence of a skin condition, such as melanoma.

When it comes to a failure to diagnose melanoma, a number of parties could be liable. In many cases, primary care physicians who notice a skin abnormality should have referred the patient to a dermatologist who is skilled at diagnosing and treating skin conditions but failed to do so. In these cases, the primary care provider may be liable for malpractice. In other cases, even a dermatologist could be liable for malpractice if he or she made an error in performing the biopsy. For example, he or she might not have obtained a large enough sample, resulting in the pathologist being unable to perform the necessary tests. Another example of dermatologist malpractice would be misinterpreting the pathologist's report. Finally, your attorney might sue a pathologist if he or she misread the biopsy results, and this led to the patient's misdiagnosis.

If the doctor believes that a melanoma has spread, an MRI or scan should be ordered to determine whether the cancer has spread. In Maryland, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional deviates from the generally accepted standard of care, thereby injuring a patient. The generally accepted standard of care refers to the level of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a doctor fails to order testing on a mole that experienced abnormal growth, and this was the reason why the patient's melanoma was not detected, that doctor may be liable for the delayed diagnosis.

Once malpractice is established, Maryland law permits a victim to recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages, including but not limited to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, costs of future care, pain and suffering, disability, and lost wages and benefits, as well as any other damages needed to deal with the malpractice. Each case is unique, so the damages in each case will vary based on the details of that case.

Contact a Knowledgeable Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore

If you or your loved one has suffered harm due to a medical professional's negligence in diagnosing or failing to diagnose your melanoma, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and resources to handle your case. We proudly represent people in communities throughout Maryland. To speak to us about your case at no cost, call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.