Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer

Misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be delayed or missed because some cases of skin cancers may not produce any change in skin color. In addition, abnormal areas of skin may not be easily visible, such as when skin cancer occurs on the back. Skin cancer may also grow within a previously existing and normal mole and may not be noticed promptly.

Some symptoms of skin cancer are similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as non-malignant skin lesions or normal moles and freckles.

Because of this, it is important to seek regular medical care during which a licensed health care clinician can thoroughly examine the skin for abnormalities and other signs of skin cancer....more about Skin Cancer »

Alternative diagnoses list for Skin Cancer:

For a diagnosis of Skin Cancer, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Skin Cancer:

Diseases for which Skin Cancer may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Skin Cancer is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Skin Cancer: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Skin Cancer may include these medical conditions:

Rare Types of Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Skin Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Skin Cancer

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and spitz nevi.

Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often go undiagnosed. The main problem is that psoriasis is rare in children, and not often seen by physicians for this reason. children may receive treatment for fungal skin infections. See misdiagnosis of psoriasis or symptoms of psoriasis.

Skin Cancer: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Skin Cancer

Failure to diagnose Skin Cancer may be associated with the following:

  • Skin cancer is often undiagnosed in cases where a persistent sore doesn't heal as the patient tends to ignore the symptom. Doctors may also dismiss a sore unless the patient repeatedly presents the same symptom
  • Undiagnosed and untreated skin cancer can result in a spread of the cancer and even death. The longer it takes to diagnose a skin cancer, the greater the risk of serious consequences such as metastasis. Early treatment usually means a complete cure
  • Moles and skin cancers that occur on parts of the body that are difficult to see make it less likely that the patient will be alerted to any changes. For example, a mole on the back or scalp is impossible to see and any developments will only be detected by someone else inspecting these areas. Thus, it is important to have regular skin checks by a health professional

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Skin Cancer

The following may be hidden causes of Skin Cancer:

  • The major cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV light from sunlight
  • Tanning booths also utilise UV light and increase the risk of skin cancer
  • Other causes includes: exposure to high levels of x-rays or certain chemicals such as arsenic, hydrocarbons found in tar, oil, soot, paraffin wax, petroleum products, creosote and asphalt. Jobs such as mining, farming and sheep shearing may expose people to chemicals such as arsenic
  • A suppressed immune system may also increase the risk of skin cancer. The immune system suppression may be due to certain diseases or as a result of medications used to treat autoimmune diseases or avoid organ rejection after a transplant
  • Certain factors predispose a person to skin cancer: fair skin, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes, prior history of skin cancer, presence of many or unusual moles, family history of skin cancer or a prior episode of severe sunburn
  • Genetic disorders such as xeroderma pigmentosum and albinism reduces skin pigmentation and increases the risk of skin cancer
  • Some people have an inherited genetic anomaly which predisposes them to the risk of skin cancer
  • The treatment of psoriasis with UV, skin scarring (e.g. from skin ulcers or burns) and the presence of solar keratosis or premalignant fibroepithelial tumor of Pinkus may also increase the risk of skin cancer
  • Gorlin's syndrome (or nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome) is an extremely rare inherited condition that involves the development of many basal cell carcinomas
  • Infection with the human papilloma virus and the presence of Bowen disease (Bowen precancerous dermatosis) also increases the risk of skin cancer
  • Research also indicates that there is a link between smoking and an increased risk of skin cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma
  • Studies are ongoing as to whether alcohol plays any role in the development of skin cancer. So far, there is no conclusive evidence of a link
  • In rare cases cancer may have metastasized from some other primary source to the skin

Notes On Wrong Diagnosis Of Skin Cancer

Wrong diagnosis of Skin Cancer may be associated with the following:

  • Skin cancer may be wrongly diagnosed as a benign skin lesion or a simple mole
  • Harmless skin lesions are frequently misdiagnosed as skin cancer which leads to unnecessary biopsies and treatment

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Skin Cancer

  • Melanomas tend to occur in younger people (25-29 years) whereas basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are more prevalent in older people

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer:

Misdiagnosis and Skin Cancer deaths

Skin Cancer is a condition that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer or confirming a diagnosis of Skin Cancer, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Skin Cancer may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Skin Cancer. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise