Cancer tumor hidden: patient dies - doctor has to pay 55,000 euros

Finding of malignant tumor not communicated - practice pays 55,000 euros
A dermatologist's office in Bonn has to pay 55,000 euros in damages for not communicating the finding of a malignant tumor to a patient. Years later, more tumors had been discovered in the man who had an abnormal birthmark removed; he died. If he had known about his cancer, medical measures could have been taken early.

Skin changes can indicate cancer
According to the German Cancer Society, up to 190,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year nationwide. Early diagnosis usually improves treatment options. You should therefore contact a doctor immediately if you have any signs of skin cancer, such as flaky skin or itchy skin changes.

However, some practices seem to be better off than others: In a dermatology practice in North Rhine-Westphalia, a patient was denied the finding of a malignant finding.

Medical practice must pay 55,000 euros in damages
As reported on the website of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Justice, a dermatologist's office in Bonn has to pay 55,000 euros in damages because it has not informed a patient of the finding of a malignant tumor. A court spokeswoman said that the family of the deceased patient and the two responsible doctors before the Bonn district court had agreed on this comparison.

The patient was not informed of laboratory findings
According to the information, the man had a prominent birthmark removed from his shoulder in 2008. The doctors had not passed on the patient's later laboratory finding that it was a malignant tumor. Four years later, during an emergency operation, more tumors were discovered in the lungs and small intestine. The man died two months later at the age of 59.

Gross treatment error
According to the Bonn judges, the doctor's office is unquestionably liable for a gross treatment error. It is said that it is up to the doctors to order the patient in the event of such serious findings and to discuss everything else with them. According to the information, the cancer would have been different if medical measures had been taken at an early stage.

The Hamm Higher Regional Court in NRW also dealt with a similar case a few months ago. It was about a woman whose skin cancer was mistaken for a bacterial infection by a dermatologist. The patient later died of cancer. At that time, the judges ruled that the husband of the deceased was entitled to compensation for pain and suffering of 100,000 euros. (ad)

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