Delay In Diagnosis Leads To Premature Death

Delay In Diagnosis Leads To Premature Death

Mr T was only 23 years old when he died, following a significant delay in diagnosis of his melanoma.

He had a mole on his lower back checked for the first time in July 2005 by his GP. He noticed that it had started to itch and bleed when he scratched it. The doctor advised him that the mole was fine and it was treated unsuccessfully, with cryotherapy.

Between July 2005 and May 2007 Mr T was seen by his GP on several occasions, during which the mole was burnt, leading it to scab over. Each time, the the scab would fall off and as a result the mole came back bigger.

By June 2007 the mole continued to appear irritated so another GP at the Practice referred Mr T for a biopsy, which was carried out in November 2007 and the lesion was confirmed to be a melanoma in January 2008. Following this, Mr T underwent urgent surgery and the doctors emphasised to him their pessimistic prognosis.

His condition deteriorated, despite intensive chemotherapy and by October 2008 the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, lung and liver. Sadly, Mr T’s condition continued to deteriorate culminating in his death on 6 January 2009.

Had Mr T been referred urgently to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon in July 2005 or May 2006 his melanoma would have been cured and he would have had a normal life expectancy.

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