While any Montana resident who has a history of substantial sun exposure is at risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas, there are others who have an increased risk of developing the disease due to genetics. Further, those who have suffered from chronic skin infections in the past may also have an increased risk for squamous cell carcinomas.
When it comes to genetics, those who have fair skin and light hair have the highest risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas. Men are also at least twice as likely to develop this skin disease, though this is in part due to the fact that men generally spend more time in the sun than women. Age is also another factor with most squamous cell carcinomas appearing in those over the age of 50. However, this skin disease is increasingly being diagnosed in those who are in their 20s and 30s. It was also noted that the number of women under the age of 40 who were diagnosed was also increasing.
Those who suffer from chronic skin inflammation and other infections are also more likely to be diagnosed with squamous cell carcinomas than those who do not. Further, those who suffer from immune deficiency diseases, such as HIV, or those who take medications that weaken the immune system also face increased risks.
If squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed early, patients often have a number of different treatment options available and a positive outlook. If, however, there is a delay in the diagnosis of this skin disease, it can cause disfigurement or even become deadly. As such, if a doctor error results in a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim. An attorney may help a patient seek compensation for the additional medical costs needed for more invasive treatment or may seek punitive damages if a delayed diagnosis resulted in disfigurement or a worsened condition.