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Skin cancer can be deadly if not caught early

Many Houston residents know someone who has suffered from skin cancer. Skin cancer affects affects thousands of Americans each year and can be deadly. If skin cancer is not diagnosed early or receives a wrong diagnosis, it can lead to intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments and even death.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. There are several types of skin cancer that can range in severity for patients. Melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. If it is not caught early it can spread to other parts of the body making it harder to treat. If melanoma is caught very early and has not yet spread to other parts of the body, the survival rate can be over 98%. But if the melanoma has spread to the nearby lymph nodes the survival rate drop to 63%. And if the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body the survival rate becomes 17%. Over 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year. Other skin cancer types, such as basal cell and squamous cell are more common, easier to treat, and rarely move to other parts of the body.

When a patient hears from their doctor that they have skin cancer it is a scary diagnosis. Immediately a family can be faced with difficult decisions to make, treatment options that sound frightening, and the uncertainty of what the future may hold. If this cancer was missed by a doctor early on a patient can face a worsened condition. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help a family determine what happened to cause the delayed diagnosis. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

A skin cancer diagnosis can be serious. It is important for all cancers to be caught early in order to ensure that the patient has the best chance of survival.

Source: cancer.org, "What is melanoma skin cancer?", accessed on Sept. 11, 2016

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