Diagnosis errors in skin cancers

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2015 | Failure To Diagnose

New Mexico parents may be interested in a study done in Boston that discussed the risk factors associated with skin cancers other than melanoma in children. Risk factors are essential to establishing a diagnosis, and dismissing them may result in a faulty diagnosis with repercussions for the patient.

The study focused on 28 children, 22 years of age and younger, who had either squamous or basal cell cancer or both over the period of 1993 to 2014. The time it took for a lesion to be diagnosed varied according to the type of cancer with an average of 948 days. For instance, it took 1,176 days for a medical diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma to occur. Squamous cell lesions took 667 days for the correct diagnosis to be made.

A misdiagnosis was found in 36 percent of the patients. The initial diagnosistic errors included warts of a viral origin, psoriasis, moles, acrochordon or benign, abnormal tissue growth or the result of host response to grafts. The lesions were surgically removed in most patients. Fifty percent of patients in the study had a risk factor for developing the cancers and 46 percent were caused by previous medical treatment. Of these, immunosuppression, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and the use of voriconazole were identified. Particularly with chemo and voriconazole, additional factors were involved.

When diagnosing skin cancer in young people, a doctor is obligated to consider risk factors. In addition, recognition of such factors might help with both diagnosis and treatment. A failure to diagnose cancer can be catastrophic for a patient. In some cases, the disease will have progressed too far when it is finally detected that the patient will die from the disease. The surviving family members may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney in order to determine the recourse that may be available for seeking damages for the losses that they have sustained as a result of such medical error.


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