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Can psoriasis be misdiagnosed as cancer?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Many New Jersey residents live with psoriasis. With the right treatment, people with this condition can live healthy, ordinary lives. However, research has suggested that people with psoriasis might have a higher risk of developing cancer, leaving many people wondering if their psoriasis could be misdiagnosed as cancer–or vice versa.

Can psoriasis be misdiagnosed as cancer?

While psoriasis and skin cancer are two completely different conditions, the symptoms can occasionally look similar. They can both involve crusty, scaly patches of skin that bleeds easily. It’s possible that a doctor could mistake your psoriasis for skin cancer, which could leave them liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Fortunately, psoriasis and skin cancer also have clear differences in the way they present on the skin. Psoriasis typically involves large patches of red, scaly skin located in different areas of the body. Conversely, skin cancer is typically much smaller and concentrated in areas that get the most exposure to the sun. Skin cancer also tends to grow and change rapidly.

Psoriasis also has periods of recession where the reddened, scaly patches seem to disappear. Skin cancer doesn’t disappear–if anything, it can grow and change shape when it’s not treated. Skin cancer can also take on a variety of unusual colors. Unlike skin cancer, psoriasis can also cause thickened fingernails and dry skin that causes burning and itching. Since the diseases are so different, it’s rare for a doctor to make a misdiagnosis.

When should you think about hiring an attorney?

If your doctor makes a mistake, you might end up suffering from serious consequences. A misdiagnosis could result in you receiving unnecessary treatments or not getting the right treatment in time. When this happens, an attorney could help you seek compensation for the losses that you have incurred.