Malignant melanoma is the most deadly of the skin cancers. It is usually associated with exposure to the sun and is a growing problem here in Arizona. Malignant melanoma can quickly spread to other parts of the body. It is a particularly difficult cancer to treat but can be successfully treated.
Early detection is key to the successful treatment of melanoma. If it is detected and treated before it spreads, the chances for success are good. It is important for patients to minimize sun exposure and to be aware of changes in their bodies. Moles can change and become melanoma. Changes should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist, who is trained to recognize what is and what is not a significant skin lesion.
Malignant melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, even in places which are not usually associated with exposure to the sun. We represented one client who had a melanoma on the bottom of her foot. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to recognize a melanoma when they see it. In the case of our client who had a melanoma on the bottom of her foot, her doctor thought it was a wart and tried to burn it off.
Sometimes patients with melanoma go to their family doctor. While some family doctors may be good at recognizing melanoma, some are not and should refer their patients with questionable skin lesions to a dermatologist for a second opinion. If you or a family member believe you may have been injured as the result of a failure to diagnose a malignant melanoma or the failure of your family doctor to refer you to a dermatologist, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced attorney.