Greenock butcher, William Murdoch, visited his dentist with what he thought was toothache, but what unfolded came as a complete shock. Mr Murdoch was actually suffering from a potentially deadly form of mouth cancer, which was only discovered due to his dentist’s vigilance.
During his visit, dentist Catriona Amadei extracted his tooth, only to find a lump in the gum which she immediately knew was cause for concern. Mr Murdoch was referred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, where he did not even need a biopsy to confirm the lump was cancerous. Ms Amadei says that this shows the importance of regular check-ups with a dentist, as they may be able to spot early signs of mouth cancer that might not be obvious to the untrained eye.
William admitted to the Greenock Telegraph that if it was not for his dentist appointment things could have been very different, “A visit to the dentist really did save my life. My surgeon told me that I now need to get a 12-hour reconstruction operation to remove the lump or I will die. I can’t help thinking what would have happened if I hadn’t gone to the dentist when I did.” Mouth cancer rates have seen a rise of around thirty nine percent throughout the last ten years. In some cases, the symptoms do not present themselves until the disease is more advanced, however dentists are more likely to spot the signs earlier.