Failure to Diagnose Oral Cancer
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, almost 50,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and well over 9,000 people each year are expected to die from this form of cancer. The best chance for treatment and survival is early detection, usually through screenings and exams at a dental office. When obvious signs of oral cancer are present and a dentist fails to notify the patient, it can be a case of dental negligence.
Symptoms and Risks of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is most prevalent in adults over the age of forty, with higher risks for those who have HPV16, use tobacco products or consume alcohol regularly. Undergoing an oral cancer screening during dental checkups is one of the best ways to detect the earliest signs of the disease, as often the patient may not notice any symptoms. However, some symptoms that can occur include:
- Lumps in the mouth or throat
- White or red patches on the mouth tissues
- Sores that do not heal
- Ongoing hoarseness or sore throat
- Difficulty talking, swallowing or chewing
- Earaches or oral numbness
If detected in the initial stages, oral cancer is treatable, and the rate of success is high. Unfortunately, because it is often not detected early, the chance of death is higher than many other types of cancers. If a dentist neglects to advise a patient if they detect recognizable signs of oral cancer, it could lead to further progression of the disease and possibly death.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with oral cancer that a dentist failed to diagnose, it could be a case of dental negligence. To discuss your case, contact our team of experienced personal injury experts at Moriarty Injury Lawyer. You or your loved one may be eligible to pursue compensation if there is evidence of dental malpractice from a failure to diagnose oral cancer.