Oral Cancer Attorneys in New York
Holding Negligent Dentists Responsible
Chianese & Reilly Law is known among our peers and across New York State for our extensive experience and track record of success in dental malpractice. We help clients who have a variety of injuries and illnesses caused or worsened by dental professionals – people we generally trust to perform their jobs with ease and keep us safe, whether in a routine appointment or a surgery. One of the most common dental malpractice cases we handle is oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. When dental professionals encounter symptoms or signs of oral cancer in their patients but fail to get them the treatment they need, patients can file claims to recover their losses. Our New York oral cancer attorneys can hold your practitioner responsible for negligence so you don’t have to suffer anymore than you already have.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to many different types of cancers that can affect the tongue, tonsil, throat, esophagus, and mouth. Most oral cancers are caused by excessive alcohol use or long-term tobacco use, exposure to asbestos, or exposure to the HPV-16 virus, the latter of which can also cause cervical cancer in women.
Unfortunately, oral cancer can be challenging to treat and if it’s not detected early, it can be fatal. Approximately 43% of late-stage patients pass away within just five years of being diagnosed. This is why it’s important that oral cancer is detected early, including by dentists who can spot the signs more easily. Most Americans visit the dentist for annual cleanings every year, giving dentists the ability to screen their patients and catch cases early on.
A common type of oral cancer is tongue cancer, which is most associated with sores that appear on the tongue where the tumor is located.
Other signs of tongue cancer to be aware of include:
- A lump or swelling in the mouth
- White or red patches on the tongue or other places in the mouth
- Trouble swallowing or moving jaw
- Discomfort in tongue or jaw
- Sore throat or the feeling that something is caught in the throat
What are a Dentist’s Responsibilities?
Dentists have what is known as a duty of care, which applies to all medical professionals. A duty of care means that dentists are obligated to protect not only their patients’ teeth, but their overall health as well. While most people associate regular checkups with teeth cleanings and reminders to floss regularly, checkups also involve screenings for any infections and other threats.
When a dentist discovers anything suspicious, they have an obligation to inform you, schedule any additional exams to test further, or refer you to a specialist who can treat your condition. When dentists breach this duty of care and fail to detect oral cancer or inform their patient of their oral cancer, the patient can file a dental malpractice claim.
Treatment Options & How We Help
Oral cancers can be diagnoses after identifying the tumor with an imaging test like a CT scan or an MRI. Dentists should conduct a biopsy to diagnose the cancer – this is often not done if the dentist dismisses or fails to detect the initial symptoms of cancer.
Oral cancer treatments can be expensive and involve a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Sometimes when tongue cancer isn’t detected until it worsens, patients need to have a total glossectomy, which is a total removal of the tongue. Surgeries can cost tens of thousands of dollars and many patients aren’t prepared for the medical bills.
Having recovered millions of dollars for past clients, our attorneys can be trusted to pursue the compensation you’re entitled to after you’ve been misdiagnosed by your dental professional. Through our passionate advocacy, we can recover your medical bills, from the costs of surgeries and hospital stays to medications, as well as lost wages and earning capacity. We can build your case and file your claim while you concentrate on healing.