Delayed Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, with over 13,000 new cases each year. Fortunately, more people are surviving a cancer diagnosis than ever before.

Sun protection is crucial in preventing skin cancer.

In the area of dermatology, the most common issue which arises within the context of medical negligence is the misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, of skin cancer.
Symptoms of skin cancer include:

  • Changes in the appearance of a mole
  • Skin changes after a mole has been removed
  • Itchiness & oozing
  • A sore or spot that won’t go away
  • Scaly patches
  • Vision problems
  • Changes in your fingernails or toenails

Patients who present with symptoms of skin cancer should be referred for further investigations and follow up assessment where necessary.

There are a number of scenarios whereby medical negligence might arise:

  • Failure to recognise symptoms of skin cancer
  • Failure to refer patients with skin cancer for further investigations; either in a timely manner, or at all
  • Failure to identify appropriate follow up to identify changes to appearance of a mole
  • Delay in diagnosis of skin cancer
  • Delay in commencement of a treatment plan
  • Misdiagnosis of skin cancer
  • Failure to report on a biopsy
  • Failure to remove a mole, or a skin lesion, correctly
  • Surgical errors

Medical negligence in the context of misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, of skin cancer can mean that by the time cancer is diagnosed, the disease may have progressed to a more advanced stage than would be the case had a timely diagnosis been made. This may impact the available treatment options. More radical treatment, including more invasive surgery and/or chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be required. Sadly, it may be that curative options are no longer available due to delay, or misdiagnosis.

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and you wish to discuss your concerns regarding potential medical negligence and whether you have grounds for a claim for compensation, contact us to arrange a consultation with Brigid. A claim for compensation would include compensation for pain and suffering, together with special damages, or out of pocket expenses. Special damages will vary on a case by case basis, but may include loss of earnings, treatment costs, future treatment costs and potentially cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of extensive scarring.

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If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and you wish to discuss your concerns regarding potential medical negligence, contact us to arrange a consultation with Brigid. Brigid O’Donnell, a native of Cashel, Tipperary established Brigid O’Donnell Solicitors in August 2023. While we have office facilities in Clonmel, Tipperary and Cork City, Brigid is happy to meet with clients at a time and place convenient to you. Remote consultations are facilitated, A meeting can also be facilitated outside of normal office hours, if required. Read more about skin cancer and medical negligence solicitor services.

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