Hand cancer is a type of skin cancer that impacts people in New Mexico and across the United States. If it isn’t diagnosed and treated at an early stage, it can be fatal for some patients.
Skin cancer of the hand
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world. In the U.S., 1 in 5 people will develop some form of skin cancer by the age of 70. The most common types of skin cancer of the hand are squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Risk factors for these forms of cancer include:
- Long-term exposure to the sun
- Having fair skin
- Suffering immune suppression
- Radiation exposure
- Having certain genetic conditions, including Gorlin syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum
- Exposure to arsenic
Squamous cell carcinoma might appear like a small, brownish nodule on the skin. The nodule will feel firm and may have scaly, crusty or bleeding areas. This type of cancer often spreads to the lymph nodes. Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a small, well-defined nodule with a clear, pearly border. Some nodules may bleed. This type of cancer is less aggressive and less likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanomas typically appear as a new mole or a change in the appearance of an existing mole. This type of cancer is very aggressive and likely to spread. Signs of a melanoma include:
- Irregular shape
- Irregular border
- Odd colors, including purple and blue
- Changes in size or appearance
- Diameter greater than 1/4 inch
Early detection is critical to a skin cancer patient’s chances of survival. Individuals who suffer harm due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis might be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other losses. An attorney could review a patient’s case and help prepare a medical professional negligence claim.