Trevor Richardson believed the ulcer on his tongue was an irritation and nothing more.
But a chance meeting with his dentist Ewan Bramley in a local shop, it was later discovered that it was actually pre-cancer of the mouth.
Within a week, Trevor had laser treatment to remove part of his tongue to prevent the potentially fatal cells from spreading.
Now, the North Shields great-grandad who had his life saved by the chance encounter is sharing his story as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month to urge others to not leave it to fate.
Trevor, 67, said: “If I had not gone to Ewan that day I would have just left it. It had been months, maybe even six months.
“I might not be talking now, I might not even be here – so thank you Ewan.
“My tongue was tingling and numb and I had an ulcer – that was it! It just goes to show, it doesn’t have to be big or major for it to be serious.
After bumping into Ewan in a shop, he then visited his practice, Ewan Bramley Dental Care on North Shields Fish Quay, where he was referred on to Newcastle Dental Hospital straight away.
He was first treated in 2010 at the Newcastle Dental Hospital and went on to ‘specialist review’ at the Maxillofacial Unit at the RVI every six months.
It was at one of his ‘review’ sessions, just a year on from his first diagnosis, that another form of mouth cancer was detected on Trevor’s lip, which manifested only as a small tag of skin.
This was also removed and stopped in its tracks.
Trevor added: “I want to say – please don’t be afraid of going to the dentist, even if you think it is nothing to worry about. Let them be the judge of that.
“I’m very grateful to Ewan, I’d also like to thank the team at the Maxillofacial Unit at the RVI for all of their support and the surgeons, they’ve all been brilliant.”
Ewan, owner of Ewan Bramley Dental Care, said: “I just want to get the message out there that you should never assume ‘it’s nothing major’ or make your own assessment.
“If there’s something that has lasted for longer than three weeks you must get it checked out.
“A dentist like me can perform a mouth cancer screening and check out any lump or bump and see if there’s anything to worry about, so please make that appointment.
“Don’t leave it to random chance like Trevor, things could have been very different had we not bumped into each other. He might not be here.”
Mouth pain, ulcers and mouth numbness can all be symptoms of mouth cancer, and NHS guidelines are that if you have a symptom that lasts longer than three weeks, you should get it checked.
Without early detection it is estimated that over the next decade around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer and around 30,000 people will die, according to the Mouth Cancer Foundation.
Ewan Bramley is offering anyone who is concerned about a symptom a free consultation and oral health check at his practice on the Fish Quay.
For more information visit www.ewanbramley.com, call 0191 2596506, or follow them on social media @ewanbramleydentalcare.
Source : Chroniclelive