Patient left outraged as doctor misdiagnoses cancer for an infection

17 June 2013

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Patient left outraged as doctor misdiagnoses cancer for an infection

The GP, Dr Derek Graham, who practises in Newcastle, Co Dublin, is alleged to have failed to diagnose a tumour on the man's jaw despite three visits to his clinic over an eight-month period. The patient, Gareth Gorevan, has testified that Dr Graham told him he had an infection in his gland, however when he was eventually sent to a specialist by another doctor he was diagnosed with a squamous cell cancer, which required 35 sessions of chemotherapy and radiation.

Dr Graham faces six allegations of professional misconduct or poor professional performance, including that he failed to carry out an adequate examination of Mr Gorevan, that he failed to give adequate consideration to the possibility of a serious underlying condition and that he failed to refer Mr Gorevan to an appropriate specialist.

Mr Gorevan initially visited Dr Graham on February 12, 2010, as he was "smothering with flu" and physically run down. Upon examination he was told it was his lymphatic system's attempting to fight his infection. On two further appointments he was also advised he was suffering from an adult form of acne and an infected duct on his jaw.

He returned to Dr Graham's practice on September 2 but discovered he was on holidays and instead visited another GP, Dr Fiona Ryan. "I only had to look at Dr Ryan's eyes when I walked in the door because they fixed on the area and they never left." Dr Ryan referred him to an ear, nose and throat surgeon, who diagnosed him with squamous cell cancer.

If you or a loved has been affected by a cancer misdiagnosis or delay in treatment this may constitute a form of medical negligence. If this has left you unsure about your healthcare rights and how best to make a potential medical negligence claim or complaint, may be able to help. We have specialists in the area of cancer misdiagnosis who can advise you about your patient rights.