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Have You Been A Victim of A Misdiagnosis of Melanoma?

March 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 150

Believe it or not, even with the growing awareness of skin care and sun safety, the main cause of death from a form of skin disease is melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer and it can be quite serious and aggressive, making it very important to address quickly. When melanoma occurs, melanocytes are affected. Melanocytes are specific types of cells that are in charge of giving skin its pigmentation, which is referred to as melanin. Melanin is a natural material that provides color for the skin and hair.

While everyone tends to think of just the skin area when discussing melanoma, it can also affect the iris of the eye, which is the area that is colored. That being said, it is most common for melanoma to develop on the skin that overall appears normal. It can also start off as a mole or other area that is abnormal and can change with time. Moles that are present from very early on, even birth, can develop into melanoma.

There are four main types of melanoma. The most commonly occurring form of the disease is referred to as superficial spreading melanoma. This is usually identified by the flat, irregular shape of the area, along with various shades of black and brown. Superficial spreading melanoma can form at any time, in all age groups, can be found in just about any area of the body, and is more commonly seen in people with fair skin.

Nodular melanoma is the second most common form of the condition and is typically noted by a raised area that is dark blackish blue or bluish red; however there are some forms that have no color. This form is the most aggressive form of the disease and accounts for roughly fifteen percent of all cases.

The third most common type of melanoma is lentigo maligna. This form of the disease is commonly seen in elderly people, and is found on the skin located on the arms, neck, and face, or any other area that has been damaged by the sun. This type of melanoma is recognized by its flat, large size, and can be light brown with areas that are darker in color.

The fourth type of melanoma is somewhat rare and is called acral lentiginous melanoma. This form of the disease is found on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and under the nails and is more often seen in African Americans.

In addition to the above mentioned cases, there are also rare types of melanoma that form in the rear of the eye, in the retina, and even in the mouth. These forms of the disease are typically found during routine dental examinations or eye examinations. Even rarer, are cases of melanoma that form in the anus, the urinary tract, the vagina, the esophagus, and the small intestine.

Melanoma is a serious medical condition that can spread rapidly. While it is true that melanomas are not as common as other types of skin cancer, cases continue to rise each year, making it a leading cause of death related to dermatological issues. As people continue to age, the risk of developing melanoma increases as well, but it is important to note that younger people can also be affected.

Melanoma can be very aggressive, and can pop up at just about any stage of life. Since it can be a bit confusing distinguishing between a harmless mole and something more serious, the ABCDE guidelines have been put in place to help people judge their skin issues. "A" is for Asymmetry due to the fact that the shapes of melanomas are often irregular. "B" is for Border due to the fact that the borders of melanomas are also irregular. "C" is for Color because most melanomas have multiple colors. "D" is for Diameter because the majority of melanomas have a diameter of more than seven millimeters. "E" is for Evolving because melanomas change over time.

In order for a correct melanoma diagnosis to be made, a medical professional skilled in the field of dermatology, or other type of skin cancer specialist should examine the area in question. If you are seen by a primary care physician who does not specialize in issues with the skin, you should be recommended to a specialist. In the event that this recommendation is not made, a form of medical negligence may have occurred.

It is very important that any suspicious lesions be checked by a specialist since they can promptly make an accurate diagnosis and provide the best course of treatment. These professionals know how to examine the area, use special tools like a dermatoscope, and remove the discolored area to be further examined in a laboratory. Biopsies and laboratory tests are critical to making a correct diagnosis of melanoma. Follow up tests and examinations are also necessary. Furthermore, an incorrect dismissal of symptoms as something far less serious can also have devastating results that should not be left unpunished.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a melanoma misdiagnosis you should not delay in seeking professional legal assistance. It is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Since different states have various laws and statutes of limitations on this type of claim, it is not advisable that you attempt to file on your own without professional assistance. A personal injury attorney who is skilled in the area of medical malpractice and negligence knows the ins and outs of the system quite well and can help you every step of the way, from filing to settlement. Because most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you have no worries about funding your claim as it progresses through the system. An issue this serious should not be allowed to happen. Not only are you protecting your own interests by taking action, you are also helping to ensure this type of action does not happen to other innocent victims in the future.

For information on medical malpractice lawyers & attorneys, visit the Philadelphia law firm website

Source: EzineArticles
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