A Bethalto doctor allegedly failed to pick up on signs of cancer in a man whose tongue had changed appearance at the same time as the man suddenly lost more than 30 pounds, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Rhonda Trosley filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court on Nov. 1 against Fairview Heights Medical Group doing business as Family Physicians of Bethalto and against Dr. Craig K. Harms.

In her complaint, Trosley claims her recently deceased husband, Raymond Trosley, sought medical treatment from Harms, who worked for Family Physicians of Bethalto, from June 2 through Oct. 28, 2009. Raymond Trosley began his visits to the doctor amid concerns about the appearance of his tongue, according to the complaint.

However, Harms failed to inspect the left side of Raymond Trosley's tongue, despite his complaints, and failed to notice that Raymond Trosley's tongue did not appear normal, the suit states. In fact, Harms noted on documents that Raymond Trosley's tongue had a typical appearance, the complaint says.

Rhonda Trosley claims Harms also failed to appreciate the significance of her husband's 37-pound weight loss between June and October, failed to diagnose Raymond Trosley with cancer and failed to refer him to the appropriate doctor. Instead, Harms incorrectly diagnosed a lesion on Raymond Trosley's tongue as thrush, according to the complaint.

Because of Harm's failure to adequately treat Raymond Trosley, the cancer on Raymond Trosley's tongue continued to grow, causing him to eventually undergo chemotherapy, the suit states. In addition, Raymond Trosley experienced extreme pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress; lost earnings; and incurred medical costs. He died on Jan. 28, 2010, the complaint says.

Due to Raymond Trosley's death, his wife and three sons claim they lost his companionship and society, suffered grief and sorrow and incurred funeral and burial costs of $12,703.22.

In her six-count complaint, Rhonda Trosley seeks a judgment of more than $225,406.44, plus costs.

Paul G. Schoen of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-1135.

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