Early detection is necessary since cervical cancer can have a terrible impact on the lives of the people it affects, and hence treatment must begin as soon as possible. A claim for compensation may be made if you or a loved one has suffered due to a misdiagnosis or due to a delay in diagnosis.
To ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, the professional and understanding team of medical negligence solicitors at Tiernan & Co. can help.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you believe you have grounds to file a compensation claim for cervical cancer negligence. Our medical negligence law firm can help you get compensation if you or your family have been harmed by the late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer typically manifests early in the menstrual cycle, following sexual intercourse, or as heavy bleeding after sex. As the cancer becomes more advanced, the symptoms may include loss of weight, lower back discomfort, or leg pain being referred.
A clinical examination for palpation of the abdomen and a vaginal assessment, as well as a smear and colposcopy, should be conducted to arrive at a diagnosis. After these procedures have been completed, the histology should be examined and further stages of the treatment must be established. Other than that, the following diagnostic tests are required: full blood count, chest x-ray, and CT of the abdomen and pelvic.
Being misdiagnosed with cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is usually easily treatable if it is found early. Cervical cancer treatments are based on the stages of the disease. Cone biopsy or surgical excision are early treatments for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer of middle stages is frequently treated with hysterectomy, and in the later stages, pelvic radiation and chemotherapy are used.
Proving that a delay in diagnosing cervical cancer altered the outcome is a necessary prerequisite for succeeding in a medical negligence claim. Sometimes this means you must show that while the cancer was held back, it developed to a more advanced stage. Thus, it is unlikely that a delay of a few months would be enough. On the other hand, if cancer is allowed to develop, it is likely to spread and increase in severity. Mistakes in the process of identifying ovarian cancer could have catastrophic consequences. Cervical cancer misdiagnosis claims can be made for:
- Not following up on a thorough inspection or recording important information
- In the absence of additional examination, failure to refer the patient to a gynaecological oncologist for treatment
- Failure to properly understand smear tests
- Unnecessary surgery occurs because of misdiagnosed cancer of the cervix
How to make a Cervical Cancer Claim
In females, cervical cancer is the sixth most prevalent malignancy and it peaks between ages 45 to 55. Women who discover early-stage cancer should, on average, have a fair prognosis because cancer can be removed with a simple treatment, stopping the disease from developing.
Screening errors or other forms of medical incompetence can result in the failure to detect abnormalities, which means women face the possibility of developing cervical cancer and not knowing about it for years. It can lead to surgery, chemotherapy, and even a deadly prognosis in the worst situations.
While it is recognised that often small abnormalities cannot be spotted by a screener who is examining a smear test slide, all screening errors, no matter how subtle, constitute medical negligence.
The importance of a GP
If negligence occurs, it’s because early detection and treatment did not occur. Therefore, if a GP fails to detect signs and quickly refer their patient to a gynecologist, the prognosis will not be good. Additionally, it is the role of GPs to ensure that patients attend their scheduled smear examinations. It is imperative that more follow-up appointments be scheduled and that patients be informed of the risks of missing them.
The consequences of cervical cancer misdiagnosis
Women who have had cervical screening errors may suffer a decrease in life expectancy. Women, however, are also unable to have children, are at an increased risk of health difficulties and are forced to endure painful intrusive procedures.
When does cervical cancer lead to a medical negligence claim?
While a large majority of individuals with cervical cancer get great care, delays and mistakes may sometimes occur. When it comes to diagnosing and treating cervical or ovarian cancer, any mistakes or delays have the potential to be fatal. You may well be entitled to compensation for cervical cancer if these mistakes happen.
Cervical or ovarian cancer typically presents with the following symptoms:
- Heavy menstruation
- The probability of experiencing bleeding or pain during sex
- A notable change in vaginal discharge
- You may experience changes in your cycle
Due to the seriousness of cervical cancer, the presence of the other symptoms does not mean that the issue was simply due to a mistake or delay in diagnosis.
Delays can be caused by several factors
- Cervical cancer is often missed because the signs are not recognised
- Failure to conduct comprehensive testing or examinations
- Non-adherence to treatment guidelines
- Incorrect interpretations of smear tests by healthcare providers
- Errors in interpretation of other test results
If you suspect that the delay of your cancer treatment was due to negligence, please speak to one of our specialists who will be able to help you with making a claim for compensation.
Additional issues that can lead to cervical cancer compensation claims
During treatment or surgery, mistakes can occasionally be made. The most common errors typically include:
- Error during chemo
- Failing to save the eggs
- Possible surgical error during hysterectomy
Contact one of our solicitors and we will assist you in determining if you have a medical negligence claim for compensation.
How likely is a person to get cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is primarily found in women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. The majority of women diagnosed with cervical cancer are in the 25 to 64 age range, however diagnoses have risen in the younger age bracket in the recent decade.
HPV is a fairly common virus that is spread between people through sexual intercourse, and is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is believed to be caused by the following:
- Sex early in a person’s life
- A large number of sexual partners
- Male partners who are highly promiscuous
- High number of childbirths
- Cumulative amount of different sexually transmitted illnesses, especially HPV
- Long-term heavy smoking
The potential risk factors of cervical cancer are discussed in more detail here.
How is cervical cancer detected?
Cervical cancer screening involves examining for precancerous cell changes in the cervix. In order to be referred for treatment to prevent the development of full-blown cancer, it is essential that these problems are accurately detected.
Checking smear test slides is done twice and takes roughly eight minutes for the first examination. In the event of any anomalies, you should undergo treatment. Slides that pass the first test are subject to second test which is commonly referred to as rapid review. The second test is not conclusive and could still fail to reveal evidence of cervical cancer.
The bulk of cases are picked up by rapid review. Ensuring slides are double-checked could help to reduce the number of women who experience scanning problems.
How often should you get checked for cervical cancer?
- Invitations for screening should be given to women at age 25 or older
- Ages 25 to 49 will be checked every three years
- Ages 50 to 64 will be screened every five years
- For women above the age of 65, screenings are only done if they have not been screened since the age of 50 or if there have been abnormalities detected in recent screenings
How is cervical cancer identified?
The most common method of making a diagnosis is via the screening process, where patients are symptom-free. If treated early at this stage, the patient will usually not develop cancer.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is clinically the first symptom. Initially this is erratic but it may develop into continuous bleeding. Pain when passing urine as well as vaginal discomfort or vaginal discharge may also be present. Once a tumour has begun to grow it might eventually infiltrate the bladder and rectum, causing symptoms to get worse.
Referring any patient exhibiting signs associated with cervical cancer to a gynaecologist must be done immediately by a GP. In order to establish a diagnosis, a colonoscopy and biopsies will be done.
How is cervical cancer treated?
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment commences and will include the option of undergoing either radiotherapy or surgery. The type of treatment depends on whether the disease is in the earlier stages, the age of the patient, and other factors.
Why should you work with Tiernan Medical Negligence Solicitors?
- As a result of cancer medical malpractice, Tiernan Solicitors has successfully managed a large number of injury and disease claims. After speaking with a solicitor, we will listen to your case attentively, empathically, and only propose moving forward if we believe there is merit to your claim.
- In addition, our medical negligence solicitors will compile all of the required facts for your case including medical records and oversee the submission of the claim on your behalf.
- Your recuperation and care, or the care of a family member or loved one, can be focused on when you entrust us to manage your claim on your behalf.