One in 5 skin cancer diagnosis have been missed during the pandemic.

We know that early diagnosis is so important for all cancers but none more so than Melanoma.

Melanoma is one of the most treatable if caught early and one of the most fatal if missed. The most common sign of skin cancer is a change to a mole , freckle or normal patch of skin.

Organisations such as Melanoma UK have lots of useful information on their website. The most important advice is to be aware , and check your skin.

Doing a simple ABC test can help you spot the signs and be a life saver .

A – Asymmetry-the two halves of the area may differ in shape or colour.

B– Border – the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred and sometimes show notches.

C– Colour -this maybe uneven. Several different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen.

This can be expanded to D and E

D– Diameter-most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter . Keep a note and report any changes in size shape or diameter to your GP

E– Evolution-if you see progressive changes in size shape or colour you must see your doctor.

The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy revealed that dermatologists estimated 1/5 ( 21%) of melanomas may have gone undiagnosed in 2020, which is shocking .

They also estimate that 1/3 (33.6%) of dermatological appointments were missed due to the pandemic.

There are different types of melanomas , Superficial Spreading ( the most common in the Uk and tend to be seen in people with pale skin and freckles, initially grow outwards rather than down ); Nodular ( faster developing which can quickly grow downwards into the deeper layers of the skin ) ; Lentigo ( tend to be slower growing and commonly affect older people)

We have seen many cases where people have gone to their GP been reassured with a quick glance only to find out later they had skin cancer.

If you are concerned it is best to go with knowledge and information . If you have monitored your mole/ freckle and it has changed note down the time frames, explain the changes and ask for it to be checked by the GP in the practice who specialises in skin cancers. Each practice should have at least one Gp who has received specific training in this area. They should use a dermascope and if you remain concerned ask for a dermatological referral.

Follow up promised appointments, it is a breach of duty for patients to get lost in the system but rather than end up on our desk as a claim we would much rather you receive the treatment you need.

Appointments are being made even in the current times. Don’t presume you are not a priority -you are .

If you feel you have experienced a delay in your diagnosis contact us and we will be happy to look into this for you .

Do you need advice or have suffered because of clinical negligence?

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