Ear cancer is a rare condition, generally beginning as one of the various types of skin cancer in nearby areas such as the ear lobe or other surrounding tissue, However, if left untreated, ear cancer can have serious consequences for New Mexico residents.
Early signs of ear cancer
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancer that occur near the ear that can develop into cancer of the hearing organ if there is failure to diagnose the symptoms. Melanoma is rarer, but it is also more serious and apt to spread to the ear and other organs and structures surrounding it. Early signs include scaly patches, open sores, pink growths tiny white bumps, or in the case of melanoma, dark irregular patches that are brown or black in color.
Ear cancer risk factors
Several risk factors make ear cancer more common. These include:
- Chronic ear drainage
- Abnormal noncancerous skin growth within the auditorial canal and middle ear
- Chronic ear infections
- Fair skin
- Old age
- Radiation exposure
- Previous skin cancers
- Weakened immune system
Men are also more susceptible to ear cancers than women.
Because ear cancer is rare, monitoring symptoms is crucial to prevent misdiagnosis. Yet because of how rare it is, ear cancer is easy to overlook. When it spreads, it can affect the inner ear, temporal bone, facial nerves and other structures, causing myriad problems.
If you or a loved one have experienced ear pain and discharge that may include blood and other symptoms such as hearing loss that were ignored by medical professionals and were later diagnosed with ear cancer, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Talking with an experienced attorney can help determine your case.