Almost anything unusual happening inside or around your mouth can be a sign of oral cancer. If you went to your doctor complaining of any of the common symptoms of this type of cancer and they misdiagnosed you, you might be able to file for medical malpractice. A lip and oral cavity cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help.
At Medical Malpractice Help, we will investigate your case and determine if the doctor committed malpractice. If so, we can help you try to recover damages for any additional pain, invasive medical treatment, and other negative effects you experienced because of the misdiagnosis. Call 800-916-7333 today for a free consultation.
Diagnosing Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer
According to the Mayo Clinic, lip and oral cavity cancer can develop on any of the parts of the mouth, including the:
- Cheeks inside the mouth;
- Roof or floor of the mouth.
Because mouth cancer can occur in so many different parts of the oral cavity, the disease can present with any of these signs:
- Pain in your tongue;
- Sores that bleed or do not heal;
- Changes in the skin or lining of your mouth;
- A growth or lump;
- Pain or stiffness in your jaw;
- A sore throat;
- Pain or difficulty when chewing or swallowing.
As you can see, there is a wide range of possible symptoms for this disease. You should not ignore it when things out of the ordinary develop in or around your mouth.
Many of the symptoms of oral cancer can also be signs of other conditions that are not life-threatening. That is why it can be challenging for a doctor to diagnose mouth cancer in the early stages unless there are signs that are unique to this type of disease. Your doctor or dentist should either run tests or send you to a specialist if your symptoms persist or are intense or alarming.
Your doctor or dentist should take diagnostic steps to evaluate whether you have mouth cancer:
- Perform a physical exam to check for abnormalities, like sores or white patches;
- Take a biopsy of suspicious tissue and send it to a laboratory for testing.
If you complained of any alarming symptoms involving your lips or mouth and your doctor failed to check for this type of cancer, you might have been a victim of medical negligence.
How the Stage of Oral Cancer Impacts Treatment
How far the disease has advanced will directly impact the type of treatment you receive.
Depending on the location, stage, and type of your mouth cancer, your doctor might recommend one or more kinds of treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.
Surgical interventions for oral cancer can have the goals of:
- Removing the tumor and some healthy tissue around it, potentially including part of your tongue or jawbone;
- Cutting away malignant lymph nodes and other cancerous tissue in your neck;
- Reconstructing your mouth after the initial surgery to improve your ability to eat and talk.
If a misdiagnosis allowed your cancer to spread, you might face more numerous and invasive surgeries.
Missed, Delayed, or Incorrect Diagnosis
Mistakes that lead to misdiagnosis can happen at several points of the evaluation process. For example, a misdiagnosis can happen if:
- You tell your doctor or dentist about the problems you are experiencing, and the medical professional does not perform an examination or testing;
- Your doctor examines you but misses obvious signs of the disease;
- Your doctor sees the symptoms but mistakenly thinks something else is causing the problems;
- Your doctor takes a biopsy, but the laboratory commits an error and fails to diagnose the cancer;
- The laboratory correctly analyzes the tissue, but your doctor still does not make the proper diagnosis.
If a medical mistake caused a misdiagnosis of oral cancer, you might have a medical malpractice claim against the professional who committed the error. We will evaluate your medical records to determine if you might be eligible for compensation in a claim against the dentist, doctor, or laboratory.
If the medical professional made a mistake that similar professionals would not have made, you might have a case. We will have a medical expert determine if the mistake constituted negligence.
Consequences of a Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Misdiagnosis
If your dentist or doctor does not diagnose your oral cancer promptly, it can advance to a later stage and spread to other areas of your body. The best chances of beating cancer are in the earliest stages before it invades other body parts. A delay in diagnosis can reduce your odds of surviving. Later stages of cancer also come with more invasive treatments that are not always necessary in earlier stages.
In addition to the health implications of delayed diagnosis, you might incur additional medical expenses and miss more time from work than if you had gotten the correct diagnosis at the beginning. All of these consequences can be part of your claim against the negligent party.
Getting Legal Help for a Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Misdiagnosis
If you think that your doctor misdiagnosed your mouth cancer, call Medical Malpractice Help today. We will evaluate whether you might be eligible for compensation. We fight hard to get fair awards for the victims of medical malpractice.