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Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer

Lawyers Assisting Clients in Baltimore

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in the United States, affecting a large portion of the population. Most skin cancers are treatable if they are caught early, but a failure to diagnose skin cancer can make it more challenging to treat. Generally, delayed or missed cancer diagnoses are caused by incompetent care, and doctors that neglect to properly perform their duties should be held responsible for the harm they cause. If you sustained injuries because your physician failed to diagnose you with skin cancer, you should consult a lawyer to determine what claims you potentially could pursue. At Arfaa Law Group, our assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can gather the evidence needed to prove your doctor caused your harm, and we will diligently pursue the best outcome possible in your case.

Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma are the three primary types of skin cancer. Basal cell cancers often damage surrounding tissues, and in some instances, can spread to other parts of the body. Squamous cell is more likely to spread and cause serious harm. Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths.

Most skin cancer is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, but cancerous growths can also develop in areas that were never bared in the sunlight. As such, it is important for health care providers checking patients for skin cancer to examine all parts of the body. Skin cancer typically appears as an unusually shaped mole or growth and is diagnosed via a biopsy. Thus, if a doctor fails to order a biopsy of a suspicious mole or incorrectly interprets test results, skin cancer may go undiagnosed.

Seeking Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer

When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s skin cancer properly, it can lead to grave health issues that can be costly to treat and reduce the person’s quality of life and life expectancy. As such, many people harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose skin cancer will seek damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, to prove a healthcare provider acted negligently, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had an obligation to comply with the relevant standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional practicing in the same specialty would render when faced with a similar situation. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant’s behaved in a manner that constitutes a breach of the duty owed. For example, if the standard requires that a doctor perform a biopsy of a mole that had irregular borders and the defendant declined to do so, it may constitute a breach of the standard.

A plaintiff must not only prove that the defendant departed from the standard of care but also that the deviation caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. Usually, this requires the plaintiff to hire an expert to testify regarding the standard of care, how the defendant failed to comply with the standard, and to link the breach and the harm suffered. Generally, the expert must be someone with experience in the same practice area as the defendant, but other people may be qualified in certain situations.

Meet With an Experienced Attorney in Baltimore

Many people will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives, but if their cancer is identified at an early stage, they will often have a good chance of recovering. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to diagnose skin cancer, you may be owed compensation, and it is advisable to meet with a lawyer to discuss your options. The experienced attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping injured patients recover damages from incompetent health care providers, and if you hire us, we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. We have an office in Baltimore, where we often represent people in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us at (410) 889-1850 or via our form online to set up a consultation.