Failure to Diagnose Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is rare compared to other malignancies, and the overall risk of developing cancer of the mouth, tongue, or oral cavity is relatively rare. Oral cancers are typically treatable if they are caught early on, but when they are not diagnosed until they have spread, the prognosis worsens. As such, a prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial to a good outcome. Sadly, though, many dentists overlook concerning symptoms or do not order appropriate testing and subsequently fail to diagnose oral cancer. In many cases, the failure to diagnose a cancer of the mouth constitutes dental malpractice, and people harmed by the carelessness of their dentists may be owed damages.
If you sustained losses due to oral cancer that your dentist failed to diagnose, it is in your best interest to confer with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your potential claims. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is an assertive Rockland County dental malpractice lawyer who may advise you of your rights, gather the necessary evidence, and pursue your quest for compensation. Ms. Crown regularly helps injured parties seek damages in dental malpractice lawsuits in Rockland, Dutchess, Westchester, Ulster, and Orange Counties, as well as the greater metropolitan area.Symptoms That Indicate Oral Cancer
Any cancer affecting parts of the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, tonsils, and oral cavity, is considered oral cancer. Numerous factors can increase the risk of oral cancer, including chewing or smoking tobacco, human papillomavirus, age, and sun exposure. Generally, dentists should administer regular tests to patients to screen them for oral cancers. They are expected to inspect their patients’ mouths during visits to check for any abnormalities that may indicate cancerous cells. For example, lesions, sores, painful areas, nodules, and tissue that appears white or enflamed may all be cause for concern. If a dentist observes such symptoms, they should take the steps necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, like referring the patient to a specialist or ordering a biopsy. If a dentist neglects to observe such symptoms or escalate care when it is indicated, it can lead to the failure to diagnose oral cancer.Recovering Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Oral Cancer
Under New York law, dentists have an obligation to provide their patients with care that meets the accepted standard within their profession. If they fail to do so, they may be deemed liable for dental malpractice.
To show that a dentist should be held accountable for dental malpractice (professional negligenece), the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to provide treatment that constituted the accepted and good practice of dental care. The plaintiff then has to prove that the defendant breached this duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable harm. While the defendant’s acts do not have to be the only factor that contributed to the plaintiff’s losses, they must be a primary cause. It is not uncommon for a defendant in a case, arising out of the failure to diagnose oral cancer. to argue that factors other than their missed diagnosis caused the plaintiff’s harm. As such, the plaintiff will typically need to hire an expert to link the defendant’s dental malpractice and the losses sustained.Meet With a Trusted Rockland County Attorney
If you suffered losses due to your dentist’s failure to diagnose oral cancer, you may be owed damages, and it is smart to meet with an attorney. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a trusted Rockland County attorney who is well-versed in what it takes to achieve favorable outcomes in dental malpractice cases, and if you hire her, she will zealously pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. Ms. Crown has an office in New York, and she regularly represents parties harmed by dental malpractice in cases in Rockland, Ulster, Westchester, Dutchess, and Orange Counties and the greater metropolitan area. You can contact Ms. Crown via the form online or by calling 845.708.5900 (office number) or 845.598.8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone) to set up a meeting.