Can I Sue My Dad’s Dentist for Failing to Diagnose Oral Cancer for 5 Years?

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“In July my dad was diagnosed with the final stages of oral head & neck cancer; a cancer that can easily be treated if caught in the early stages. This cancer can be seen by dentists during exams and includes a variety of symptoms including dentures that don’t fit right, bleeding gums, etc. Over the past 5-10 years my dad saw numerous dentists and this was never mentioned or “detected.” He went through many pairs of custom dentures because they wouldn’t fit right; he showed all of the symptoms listed for this type of cancer. If one of these dentist would have diagnosed him sooner he wouldn’t be dying. I want to know if it’s possible to sue all or any of these doctors for telling my dad that his mouth was “just shaped weird” or “bleeding being due to gum disease.” I don’t want to do this for the money really; but because my father is on hospice and they are saying he has less than a week to live. And yesterday his request of me was to listen to him struggling to talk while he told me the names of his past dentists and asked me to sue them for him since he will not be here.”

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I’m sorry to hear about this. It sounds like you have a possible medical malpractice/wrongful death case, and you should consult with an experienced attorney in your area who will be able to help you determine how to proceed. Often, attorneys take these type of cases on contingency, which can help reduce any out-of-pocket expenses related to the maintenance of the lawsuit.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.