Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis
& Skin Cancer
Each year over 15,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer, and if you are one of them you will no doubt be anxious and struggling to come to terms with the effect it will have on you and your family.
In the last decade, diagnoses of melanoma have almost doubled, making it the most common type of cancer in the UK, but often it can be successfully treated when caught early and treated swiftly.
Unfortunately, many people with skin cancer are misdiagnosed, or face unnecessary delays to their treatment, leaving them waiting too long for the potentially lifesaving care that they need.
If you feel that you have been misdiagnosed with skin cancer as a result of negligent care, call one of our experts today for an initial consultation. We have many years of experience in this area of law; we understand what you are going through, and we know how to support you if you have a case. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you have access to the specialist medical services that you need, while fighting for your right to receive the medical negligence compensation that you are entitled to.
Whatever challenges lie ahead, with Sheldon Davidson Solicitors you won’t have to face them alone.
Do I have a claim?
If you feel that a medical professional has acted in a way that has led to your skin cancer symptoms being missed, or the treatment that you needed has been delayed, then you may have grounds for a skin cancer misdiagnosis claim. We will examine the circumstances of your particular case, taking into account the stage that your cancer is at, and the suffering that this has caused. If it can be demonstrated that you have been misdiagnosed, we will work with you to gather all available information to build you the strongest possible case.
What am I entitled to?
If you have suffered from a skin cancer misdiagnosis you may be entitled to claim compensation, or general damages. This is to cover:
- Physical pain and suffering caused by the delay or lack of treatment
- Mental pain and anguish as a result of your misdiagnosis
- Lower quality of life – taking into account any impact that your misdiagnosis has had on your daily life and ability to carry out your normal activities.
You may also be able to make a claim for loss of earnings or any medical expenses incurred as a result of your illness. We understand that money can’t make up for what you are going through, but we do not believe that you should suffer or find yourself out of pocket when you have been misdiagnosed through no fault of your own. Each situation is different, so speak to one of our experienced medical negligence claim handlers for a personalised assessment of your case.
If you think that you may have a claim for skin cancer misdiagnosis you need expert legal advice as soon as possible. Sheldon Davidson Solicitors have been handling medical negligence and cancer misdiagnosis claims for over 20 years and we are ready to help you determine whether there is a claim to answer, and if so what your next steps should be.
Are there time limits for making a misdiagnosis claim?
There is a limit of 3 years from the time of misdiagnosis of skin cancer to make a claim. Often though, you may not be aware that your misdiagnosis was in fact just that until some time afterwards. If this is the case, then the 3-year time limitation to will begin from the 'date of knowledge', or the time that you became aware that an error had been made. If you are concerned about your case, speak to one of our medical negligence experts today – they will be able to advise you about the validity of your claim.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the growth of abnormal cells on or in the skin which, unchecked, mutate into tumours. Skin cancer is generally (although not always) caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, either from the sun or from UV sunbeds or tanning machines.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer in the UK. It is a cancer of the basal cells, and most are very slow growing. They very rarely spread to other parts of the body, and when treated early can usually be cured completely. However some, if left, can be aggressive, making them harder to treat.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) affects the outer layer of the skin, and is a cancer of the keratinocyte cells. This is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK. SCCs are slow growing, and again most of the time can be completely cured.
- Malignant melanoma is less common and behaves differently to BCC and SCC. It can be fast growing and early treatment is needed.
According to Cancer Research UK, around 44 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK every day. The good news is that caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable; most patients with non melanoma skin cancer have a very strong chance of being completely cured, if treated correctly and early enough.
But early diagnosis is crucial; both BCC and SCC can spread throughout the body if left unchecked and they can become harder to treat. Malignant melanoma can spread quickly and does need to be diagnosed as early as possible to give the patient the best chance of recovery. This is why it can be devastating to discover that even though you sought medical help, your symptoms were not recognised as soon as they should have been.
Diagnosing skin cancer
When you first became concerned about your symptoms, your first step will have been to make an appointment with your GP. Your GP should have examined you, asked you about any changes to the affected area, and decided whether you needed further diagnostic tests. It is crucial that GPs act rigorously and with every care, as an inaccurate diagnosis in the early stages can have serious repercussions for a patient with skin cancer. The earlier that skin cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcome.
If the GP has cause for concern, they will refer you to hospital for further investigation; you will usually see a specialist who will examine you and may take a biopsy to diagnose your condition. If your GP suspects that you have a melanoma or a rare form of skin cancer, they should refer you urgently to be seen within two weeks.
What is skin cancer misdiagnosis?
Skin cancer misdiagnosis covers three main areas:
Missed diagnosis – if your skin cancer has been missed, or gone undiagnosed, then you will not have received the treatment that you need, potentially worsening your condition.
Incorrect diagnosis – if you have been given an incorrect diagnosis, you may have been given incorrect treatment, or no treatment at all. Equally, you may have been diagnosed with skin cancer when you actually do not have the disease, causing immense anxiety and trauma.
Late diagnosis – if your skin cancer diagnosis has been made later than it should have been, you will have gone untreated for longer than you should have done.
Perhaps you think that your GP did not examine you properly initially, or that they failed to recognise the symptoms you presented with as being skin cancer. Your biopsy or test results may have been misread, or you may have been told that you had a type of skin cancer which turned out to be incorrect. You may have had to wait too long for a referral or a test result, leading to your condition worsening.
The effects of a misdiagnosis can include:
- your illness lasting for longer than it could have done with earlier treatment
- pain and suffering due to the condition being exacerbated, or requiring more aggressive treatment than it might have done
- lifestyle changes resulting from your misdiagnosis
- financial losses, such as loss of earnings or medical expenses
- stress and anxiety caused by the effects of the misdiagnosis.
As with all cancers, early diagnosis and treatment is key. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner your treatment can begin and the better the outcome is likely to be. If you are unhappy with the medical care you have been given concerning your skin cancer diagnosis or treatment then it is vital that you take expert legal advice as soon as you can.
Why trust Sheldon Davidson Solicitors with your claim?
As skin cancer misdiagnosis specialists with over 20 years of experience, we understand the impact that your misdiagnosis will have on you. We understand the anxiety and pain that you are going through, but we also have the tools to help you to get the medical help and recompense that you deserve.
When you choose Sheldon Davidson Solicitors, you choose legal experts with the knowledge to swiftly assess your case and the experience to give you the best possible chance for your skin cancer misdiagnosis claim, supporting you and keeping you informed every step of the way. Although based in Manchester, we help clients throughout England and Wales; speak to one of our team of recognised skin cancer misdiagnosis claims experts for advice on your claim. Initial advice is free so you have nothing to lose – but act quickly in case time limits apply.
Speak to us today for an initial assessment – one of our claims specialists will assess your situation and it will cost you nothing to find out if you have a case. Deciding to claim for compensation can feel daunting but we will guide you through the process. We offer legal representation on a no win, no fee basis, so if we don’t win your case, you’ll have nothing to pay.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors act regularly for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham, and Whitefield.
We can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited law firm. The Lexcel standard is only awarded by the Law Society to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
With Sheldon Davidson Solicitors in Manchester you can be confident that your claim is in safe hands.