Catching cancer early is often one of the best ways to battle the illness. If a doctor makes an error that results in a failure to diagnose cancer, the results for a North Adams resident can be devastating. The patient may miss out on potentially lifesaving treatments as well as the time to develop an appropriate plan of action. As one recent lawsuit illustrates, making a mistake in diagnosing cancer can be deadly.
One of the deadliest forms of cancer is melanoma, a type of skin cancer. This aggressive disease often goes undetected or ignored by people in Massachusetts and across America until it is too advanced to be treated. Usually, a patient notices that a mole has formed or changed in appearance without any other symptoms. To determine whether the mole is cancerous, a doctor must observe it for certain features and, if it appears suspicious, cells must be biopsied. Accordingly, in order to catch melanoma, a patient is dependent on his or his doctor's abilities, and failure to make an accurate diagnosis can result in a poor outcome.