Mr Alwyn D'Souza was recently featured in an article by the Daily Mail about the woman who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer, despite not having tonsils.
An independent MEP for South East England, Miss Atkinson had put her neck swelling down to swollen glands.
However, after seeing a doctor at the European Parliament and a private ENT specialist, she was diagnosed with tonsil cancer.
She had her tonsils removed in 2012, but tumours can still grow in the remaining tonsil roots.
Alwyn D'Souza, a highly experienced ear, nose and throat surgeon at University Lewisham Hospital, said:
"I do see cases where I think, 'How did this not get picked up until now?'"
"That’s not necessarily due to a GP not spotting it, it might be patients not getting their symptoms checked."
"I saw a dreadful case recently where a man had a huge swelling in his neck - it was so big it was making him breathless - but he didn’t seek medical advice before because he was scared."
The prevalence of tonsil cancer is increasing due to a rise in HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which is now thought to cause half of all tonsil cancer cases.
Luckily, Miss Atkinson, who acquired HPV in her 20's, is now cancer-free and has returned to work, and is urging young people to make sure they get their HPV vaccinations.