Skin Cancer Solicitors - Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Lawyers
Our skin cancer solicitors specialise in personal injury compensation claims and deal with medical negligence cases using contingency fee arrangements, which means you pay nothing if your lawyer does not win your case and obtain compensation on your behalf. Following review of medical records and current symptoms you will be advised whether you have a reasonable claim and if so, what steps you should take to protect your legal rights. If you would like advice at no cost just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a skin cancer solicitor will telephone you with no charge and no obligation.
Our medical negligence solicitors have offices situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney. Do yourself justice - give us a call.
Skin cancer is the growth of malignant cells in the outer layers of the skin. It is the most common type of cancer. Tens of thousands of people in Australia will be diagnosed with skin cancer every year.
Skin cancer is a highly treatable condition. As many as 95% of cases of skin cancer can be cured. Only 1% of all cancer deaths are caused by skin cancer. This does not mean, however, that skin cancer cannot be deadly.
Malignant melanoma is a rare but very serious form of skin cancer. Of the one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, around 60,000 will be melanoma. Its a small percentage, but it accounts for the majority of all skin cancer deaths. If you believe that your condition has worsened as a result of medical negligence, contact our skin cancer solicitors for advice at no cost.
Characteristics that may put a person at risk of developing skin cancer, which includes basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma include :-
- family history of cancer
- unprotected exposure to the sun
- being fair skinned
- blonde or red hair
- green or blue eyes
Physicians should be aware of the early signs of skin cancer and take appropriate action when these symptoms are present. Failure to do so may be medical negligence. The most common signs of skin cancer are when a mole or skin growth :-
- gets larger
- changes color
- has an irregular border
- has a raised surface
When a patient comes to a healthcare professional with any type of skin growth, the growth should be tested for cancer. Healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care and that includes detecting skin cancer in its early stages when it is still easily treated. Breach of that duty of care may enable skin cancer solicitors to take legal action to claim compensation.
When skin cancer is not detected early, the patient suffers. Delayed treatment can create the need for the surgical removal of the growth and surrounding tissue. It may even require aggressive treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. In the most serious of cases, such as those with melanoma, a delayed diagnosis can be fatal.
Some of the mistakes that can lead to a delayed diagnosis of skin cancer are a failure to :-
- perform a biopsy after removing a skin growth
- check with the patient about any family history of cancer
- properly diagnose the type of skin cancer the patient has
- properly interpret the results of a biopsy or other tests
- follow up with the patient
- refer a patient to an oncologist or dermatologist
- remove a potentially cancerous growth
- recommend skin cancer screening for patients who are at a high risk for developing the disease
Skin Cancer Medical Overview
Skin cancer involves the abnormal growth of skin cells. There are many types of skin cancer, some of which metastasize and some of which do not metastasize. This means that there are dangerous kinds of skin cancer and those that are much less dangerous.
The cause of skin cancer is mostly sun exposure although there can be hereditary causes of skin cancer and skin cancer unrelated to sun exposure. The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell cancer which never metastasizes. Melanoma is much more rare than other types of skin cancer but because it metastasizes readily, it does is considered highly dangerous.
Basal cell cancer comes from abnormal growth of the lower layers of the epidermis. It forms dome-shaped, pearly lesions that can be removed through surgery alone. It is most common on the face. Squamous cell carcinoma involves abnormal growth of the middle layer of the skin or the squamous cells. It forms scaly lesions that can metastasize of left untreated long enough. It is most common on the face and on the arms and hands. Malignant melanoma involves cancer of the pigment cells or melanocytes of the skin. It is one of the more dangerous types of skin cancer and the most dangerous of the three main types of cancer. It metastasizes readily and leads to death if not picked up quickly.
Other unusual types of skin cancer are of the nonmelanoma variety and include Kaposi Sarcoma, cutaneous lymphoma and Merkel cell cancer.
Skin cancer happens to be the most common cancer in the US. Risk factors for skin cancer include having light skin, fair hair and light eyes. Family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma, means you might have an increased risk of having melanoma. The nonmelanoma types of skin cancer are more common in those past the age of 40. Sun exposure and sunburn put a person at risk of all types of skin cancer. In fact, UV radiation is considered the primary reason behind getting any type of skin cancer. Skin cancer can form at any age, especially melanoma, so even teens and children need to be evaluated if they have any suspicious symptoms.
Symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type of cancer you have. You can have waxy, scaly, shiny, rough, firm and red crusting lesions, depending on the type of cancer. If it suspicious-looking, you should seek medical advice and possibly have a biopsy. This is especially true if it is a pigmented lesion. Pay special attention to an asymmetric lesion, a lesion with irregular borders, a lesion with variegated colors and a lesion bigger than the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil. If you have a growth that does not heal or frequently bleeds, seek medical attention. To be on the safe side, you need to use a mirror to look at lesions on the backs of your legs, arms and on your back.
The treatment of skin cancer depends on the type of cancer you have. Surgical excision or even freezing or burning of the lesion is okay for basal cell and squamous cell cancers. You rarely need any further treatment once you are sure the lesion is gone. No radiation or chemotherapy is required. For melanoma lesions, however, you need to have a wide excision that definitely removes every cancerous cell. This involves surgery under local or general anaesthesia. If there is evidence of lymph node involvement or metastatic disease, then radiation or chemotherapy are required to try and kill off the cancer cells.
The prognosis of skin cancer is excellent for squamous cell and basal cell cancer. Many people die, however, from metastatic malignant melanoma. If you reach remission from the disease, you have an 89 percent survival rate after five years.
Prevention of skin cancer involves minimizing the exposure to the skin. This means wearing protective clothing, including long sleeved shirts, pants and a hat. Avoid sun exposure between 10am and 4pm. Use SPF 30 on sun exposed areas at least a half hour before sun exposure. Reapply the sunscreen often. Just because it is winter doesn't mean you shouldn't put on sunscreen, especially on your face.