It is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and professional skin checks with your dermatologist are important for everybody. The effectiveness of early treatment is why it’s so critical to diagnose skin cancer as early as possible. Here’s what you need to know about #skincancer:
How prevalent is skin cancer and is it treatable?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. In the U.S. there are more newly diagnosed cases of skin cancer today than all other cancers put together. Some 20 percent of Americans will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime. The three most common types of skin cancer are melanoma, squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell carcinomas. Melanoma is highly treatable in its early stages, but it becomes progressively harder to treat as it worsens. Squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas are also both curable if they are caught early.
Can skin cancer be misdiagnosed?
Unfortunately, signs of skin cancer do get missed by medical professionals, even experienced ones, during skin checks. Dangerous carcinomas may be confused with acne, and a melanoma can be mistaken for a harmless mole. Early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment for many types of skin cancer. If a medical professional failed to diagnose your skin cancer in a timely way, you can call an experienced medical negligence attorney for a free consultation to find out what your rights are.
If you are concerned about a misdiagnosis or possible medical error, contact the law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC in New York. We advocate for people of all ages to help our clients obtain justice and make healthcare safer for everyone. You can reach us now at (516) 684-2900.
Did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among U.S. residents? In almost all cases, skin cancer is highly curable when it is detected in its early stages. Unfortunately, the disease can still be deadly, especially when patients receive a delayed diagnosis. To reduce the risk of a delayed diagnosis as the result of medical malpractice or other factors, patients can become proactive self-advocates. During this May, which is the Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, attorneys who handle medical malpractice cases encourage families to take charge of their health.
Skin Cancer Awareness
To promote greater awareness of the dangers of this deadly disease, the University of Michigan Health System has published some startling statistics. According to the university, about 40 to 50 percent of individuals who live to age 65 will be diagnosed with skin cancer at least once. Nearly 74,000 new melanomas were expected to be diagnosed in 2015 alone. According to the published report, fortunately, when melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads beneath the skin, the five-year survival rate is about 97 percent.
Skin Cancer Detection
Patients are encouraged to check themselves and their loved ones regularly for signs of abnormal skin changes, such as new growths, unusual pigmentation, and changes in sensation. It’s also highly advisable to schedule a skin cancer screening with a dermatologist every year. An annual wellness exam with a primary care physician will not necessarily involve an examination of all areas of the skin and so should not be relied upon to detect skin cancers. In addition to your visible skin, a dermatologist should also check your scalp.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Skin cancers are among the most preventable types of cancers. Certain risk factors, such as old age, gender, and family history are not modifiable. However, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and tanning beds. If you do go outdoors, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving your home and reapply it every two hours. It is also a good idea to wear a hat if you areo going to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time.
If you believe that you received a delayed skin cancer diagnosis because of medical negligence, the malpractice law firm of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is here to help. For more than 40 years, our medical malpractice lawyers have served residents of Long Island, New York and beyond. Call us at (516) 684-2900 to speak with an attorney free of charge.
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