Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer
Fortunately, Cervical Cancer is by and large preventable. Regular pap smears can usually detect early pre-cancerous changes (dysplasia). Cervical cancer treatment is minimally invasive and usually successful. However there are a significant number of errors made in the interpretation of pap smears leading to a failure to diagnose cervical cancer. These diagnosis failures allow cancer to progress to the point that more aggressive and invasive treatments become a necessity. A failure to diagnose Cervical Cancer can occur sometimes even with the best of care and the cancer can be incurable.
Dysplasia occurs before cancerous cells appear in the cervix. Once that happes, the cancer can grow and spread to both the ovaries and uterus. Pre-cancerous cells are detected and then can be removed through a simple, minimally invasive procedure known as a cone biopsy. Late stages of Cervical Cancer can mean aggressive and potentially harmful treatments: chemotherapy, radiation and disfiguring surgery.
When There is a Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer
Medical errors can delay the diagnosis of cervical cancer, as well as ovarian and uterine cancer. Most pap smears are read by cytotechnologists in the laboratory rather than by your doctor. According to the U.S. Preventive Task Force: “… many women who are tested receive inaccurate results due to interpretative or reporting errors by cytopathology laboratories or specimen collection errors by clinicians. The failure of some physicians to provide adequate follow-up for abnormal pap smears is another source of delay in the management of cervical dysplasia…” Page 111, Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, Second Edition (1996)
We Can Help
At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, we are well versed on the particular circumstances unique to failure to diagnose Cervical Cancer. The important piece for you to remember is that you—as a patient or representative of a loved one—are entitled to a very specific standard of care by your physician and related medical personnel.
We urge you to consult with us as soon as you suspect you have been subject to medical malpractice. We don’t expect you to come to us knowing all the answers—that’s our job. We are continually educating ourselves and keeping up to date with the most current legal changes and news so that we may better serve your needs. Our malpractice attorneys have the experience, expertise and breadth of knowledge to pursue failure to diagnose cancer cases of merit.
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble is one of the most-established and best-known medical malpractice law firms in New Jersey. The initial consultation is free, confidential, and you are under no obligation. Contact us online or call at 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817