Latest News & Views

Posted on 28th August 2017

Mouth Cancer Spotted By Dentist But Missed By GP

A 53 year old man went to his GP because he was experiencing pain and swelling in his mouth. His GP diagnosed thrush and set him on two courses of antibiotics.

In the weeks that followed the male started to lose weight so went back to see his GP who then diagnosed him with a thyroid infection.

After attending his dentist for a routine check-up, his dentist saw that the 53 year old had suspected mouth cancer and urgently referred him to see specialists at the Royal Hull Infirmary. Two weeks later he was started on a six week course of radiotherapy and then an operation to implant bone from his fibula onto his jaw bone and skin from his thigh into his mouth.

The patient said “I owe him [the dentist] my life really. It’s been really hard this past couple of months” He added “the consultants said I would have been dead in three or four months if the dentist hadn’t realised.”


Misdiagnosis of cancer can lead to devastating or life changing complications. The comments made by the patient though opens an interesting aspect which is often misunderstood by people looking to make a compensation claim for medical negligence.

Negligence Claimline’s vetting of enquiries sometimes leads to us giving the opinion of “no injury”. When claimants respond by saying “I could have died”, we have to explain that in order for a claim for clinical negligence to be successful there has to have been an injury.

Solicitors use the context of a car accident to explain. Almost having a car accident means that actually you didn’t, therefore a claim cannot be made. In essence, an event has to happen in order for a claim to be made.

 If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or a delay in being diagnosed has caused a delay in treatment being started, and an injury has been suffered because of that misdiagnosis or delay in treatment, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim for medical negligence.

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.