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Tonsil cancer: being aware of it and diagnosing it

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

If you had your tonsil cancer misdiagnosed by a Massachusetts doctor, then the consequences were likely far-reaching. Every delay in diagnosis will make the prognosis worse. Though you cannot recover the precious time that was lost, there’s still a chance that you could seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Tonsil cancer: rare but deadly

First off, the tonsils are tissues that lie at the back of the throat and kill bacteria and viruses. While many have them surgically removed, that does not clear them from getting tonsil cancer as some of the tissue may still remain.

People can reduce the chances of getting it by not smoking, by not drinking alcohol to excess, and by getting a vaccination for human papillomavirus. Being HPV-positive greatly increases the risk for tonsil cancer.

As for the survival rate, one study says that 71% of HPV-positive tonsil cancer patients live five years or more following diagnosis. For the HPV-negative, the percentage only came to 36%. Whether HPV-positive or -negative, smokers always have a worse prognosis than non-smokers.

Having tonsil cancer diagnosed quickly

Those who experience continual swelling in the tonsils may think they have tonsilitis, but they should still see a doctor about it. Other symptoms that should alert patients include difficulty chewing and swallowing, difficulty consuming citric foods, a constant earache and the spitting up of blood.

Tonsil cancer can be localized, regional or, worst of all, distant. Depending on this, treatments will vary but may include a combination of radiation therapy with chemotherapy. Regarding the initial diagnosis, it will likely take a specialist and some imaging tests, such as MRIs and CT scans.

Hiring a lawyer for a malpractice case

Under medical malpractice law, you may be entitled to compensation assuming that several requirements have been met. For example, you must have had a preexisting relationship with their doctor and done everything that the doctor instructed them to do. The process of filing the claim and gathering evidence can be hard, so you may want legal assistance.