A recent National Cancer Institute survey, which studied Caucasian men and woman aged 15 to 39, found that between 1980 and 2004, annual cases of melanoma among young women increased by 50% . The researchers also found a greater increase in young women having thicker and metastatic melanomas in which the cancer spreads to other areas of the body during that time period. The incidence of melanoma among young men did not change over this time period.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and the two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These cancers usually form on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. Less common, but the deadliest form of skin cancer, is melanoma. A change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole is often the first sign of melanoma. Most melanomas have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. A good possibility exists that melanoma can be cured if it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. If melanoma is not removed in its early stages, cancer cells may grow downward from the skin surface and invade healthy tissue. Once it spreads to other parts of the body, the cancer can be difficult to control.

You should have your physician examine your skin for any suspicious markings or changes in your skin. You should seek immediately attention if you notice some of the following:

Asymmetry – the shape of one half does not match the other
Border – the edges are ragged, blurred or irregular
Color – the color in uneven and may include shades of black, brown and tan
Diameter – there is a change in size, usually an increase

The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 62,480 new cases of melanoma and 8,420 deaths in 2008.

Seeking out medical malpractice advice can be a complicated task. If you or a loved one you were seriously injured or if someone you love died because a doctor failed to diagnose cancer, made a medical error, or provided you with the wrong type of medical care, you should speak with our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania medical malpractice law firm immediately. Our on staff doctors will examine your medical records to see if something more could have been done. The malpractice attorneys of Rosen Louik & Perry offer free, no-obligation initial consultations, and there is no fee unless recovery is made. Contact us today for your free consultation.