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What may your doctor mistake skin cancer for?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Cancer Misdiagnosis

One reason for a misdiagnosis of skin cancer is if the doctor believes the condition is actually something else entirely. This could also lead to a delayed diagnosis. The doctor may eventually figure out that the patient is dealing with skin cancer, but it may be months later – after that condition has significantly worsened.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, often caused by overexposure to the sun. It can also be caused by things like artificial tanning. But if you have skin cancer, what may your doctor mistake it for if they make a diagnosis?

Common skin conditions

Part of the problem with skin cancer is that it often looks similar to very common and benign skin conditions. For example, someone could have basal cell carcinoma. This is a very serious type of skin cancer, but it grows slowly. As such, the small red patch could be mistaken for a sore, a scar or even a pimple.

The key is to watch how long the condition persists. If someone has a pimple, it may last for a few days or even a few weeks. But it should certainly not last for six months. Similarly, a minor sore should heal relatively quickly, especially if it is being treated with topical ointment. If healing does not occur and the sore persists far longer than expected, that could indicate that it’s a much more serious issue – such as basal cell carcinoma.

Seeking compensation

A doctor’s mistake can cause a medical condition to get worse, potentially leading to increased costs and other complications. Those who believe they have experienced medical malpractice need to know what steps to take to seek compensation.