Cervical cancer can be deadly but is highly curable in its early stages. Because it is slow to develop and usually puts out warning signals along the way, many patients who are diagnosed with advanced incurable cervical cancer may have a valid reason to consult with a lawyer and bring a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Cervical cancer is especially tragic because the victims are often women in their child-bearing years who leave behind husbands and young children. Death is often painful and lingering, and the anguish is intensified by the knowledge that health care providers let them down.
That is why women and families who are victimized by advanced cervical cancer often turn to medical malpractice attorneys for consultation and possible lawsuits.
Specific issues our firm has seen in the failure to timely diagnose cervical cancer include these:
- Misreading of Pap smear slides by overworked technicians and/or pathologists.
- Gynecologists’ use of the Pap smear as a diagnostic tool instead of a screening device. All that a Pap smear is intended for is screening of women without symptoms (i.e., no bleeding, pelvic pain or abnormal discharge) to see if they have any abnormalities warranting further investigation. Once a woman already has symptoms or some abnormal result on a Pap smear, the next tool used is a biopsy knife, not another Pap smear.
- Inadequate Pap smear technique by the gynecologist or primary care doctor. The Pap smear specimen must contain cells from inside the cervix – the “endocervix” – to be adequate for review.
- Failure to follow up on abnormal bleeding between menstrual cycles or other symptoms.
- Poor technique in conducting a biopsy of the cervix and/or uterus. This can result in infertility to the patient (because of loss of the cervix from an overly aggressive “cone biopsy”) or missing a cancer.
- Misreading of biopsy specimens by pathologists.
As more young women get vaccinated against cervical cancer, we can hope that the incidence of this hideous disease declines.
Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
If you believe you or a family member has been seriously injured from medical malpractice, medical error, or neglect by a doctor, hospital, nurse, clinic, nursing home or other health care provider, you may want to click here to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a free evaluation of your case. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-742-1500 or 888-625-6635 toll-free. We will respond within 24 hours. There is no charge for our initial consultation.