Factors that can lead to skin cancer misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Skin cancer misdiagnoses are perhaps most common among people of color. The unfortunate fact is that skin cancer education is rarely focused on people of color and thus contributes to a medical community that is not informed enough to aid them properly. According to the experts, this is not any fault of the students, but rather the textbooks in South Carolina that are given to them. Read on to learn further on this issue and the impact it has had on the medical community and their patients.

More diagnoses on lighter skin

One of the major factors that lead to misdiagnosis is simply the type of cases a physician may see. Even though skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the nation, it’s also the most common amongst lighter skin people. In fact, according to the CDC, only 300K cases of skin cancer are found within people of color compared to the approximately 1.7 million found within lighter-skinned people.

Skin cancer misdiagnosis amongst people of color

Over the past few years, studies have been carried out to determine the accuracy of doctors to spot skin cancer on black people. In the study, 62% of the 287 physicians tested ended up misdiagnosing photos of black patients. In real life, this can lead to a number of serious issues, such as medical malpractice occurring because a physician refuses to provide further medical exams on a patient.

Medical education must change

As stated earlier, many of the misdiagnoses occur due to a lack of focus on people of color within textbooks. However, spotting skin cancer on darker skin is just one of the steps that must be taken to fix this issue. There are many more issues that must be addressed, such as the distrust of the healthcare system by people of color or a lack of representations within the very medical facilities they visit.

If you believe that you have been offered sub-par medical care and have suffered from it, then it is important to consult an attorney as quickly as possible. An attorney may be able to fight for your right to receive the proper medical care and compensation you deserve.


FindLaw Network