Cervical Cancer medical errors
Wrong diagnosis, inappropriate treatment, medical mistakes...
Over the past few years there have been several scandals affecting
thousands of women involving mass recalls following negative
smear tests (eg PAP smear) suspected of being incorrectly reported.
Recall causes additional stress and unfortunately in these instances
where test results are wrong, this can result in medical negligence
claims when cancer has subsequently developed.
Although this is rare, due to the diagnostic process, different
styles of reporting can lead to inconsistencies, making this test
less accurate than it should be.
- The important role of smear testing in health
protection has been recognised for more than 20 years.
- If cervical cancer is detected early or in the
pre-cancer stage it is almost always curable.
- The ability to detect pre-cancerous changes gives clinicians a
great advantage and in the future the field of preventative
medicine will develop further with the advance of
vaccinations for the virus which is the cause of this illness.
- A link between cervical cancer and Human
Papillomavirus (HPV) has been clearly established for some time.
- In the future it is thought that 70% of all cancers could be prevented
through vaccination though not all as there are
a number of different types of virus and the vaccine aims
to offer protection in relation to the strains
that carry the highest risk of forming pre-cancerous or cancerous
Common types of cervical cancer errors
Mistakes made during diagnosis
Solicitors see medical negligence claims not only arising from
mistakes at the pathology stage, but also arising
as a result of failure to provide adequate treatment at the
pre-cancerous stage if changes are recognised early.
Failure to remove sufficient pre-cancerous tissue/cells
Common problems include a failure to remove sufficient tissue to
effect a cure resulting in the subsequent development of an
invasive cancer which is harder to treat.
Other medical negligence claims arise through inappropriate
treatment eg a young woman of childbearing age being given a hysterectomy
when other and equally good and less radical treatment might be appropriate. Alternatively
the technique in administration of treatment may be poor leading
to damage to the bowel or bladder eg through radiotherapy.
Claims may also arise again in those of child bearing age who lose the ability
to carry a baby to full term through treatment that
may be more aggressive than required.
Duty of care to patients
What is important is that a cervical cancer unit
is using and following national guidelines for diagnosis and treatments,
using up to date diagnostic equipment and approved methods
Assessing negligence compensation claims
- Our team of solicitors look for evidence in medical records as
to whether the condition could have been diagnosed in the pre-cancer
stage and if so what the treatment options would have
been at that stage together with prospects of achieving a cure.
- If a
complaint relates to the method of treatment we look at what
alternative treatments are available and whether procedures
have been carried out in connection with the recommended practice.
As with all negligence claims it is essential to show
that the clinician/hospital has been in breach of his/their
duty to you and that as a result of that breach of duty the problems
complained of have arisen.
Please note: If your complaint relates to a
hospital in Scotland or Ireland this will fall outside
of our solicitor's jurisdiction and we advise you to contact a local
solicitor, however if you now live in Scotland or Ireland
and your complaint is regarding a hospital in England or Wales
we will be more than happy to assist you.
Make an enquiry
If any of the issues dealt with above affect you or your family, please contact
one of our medical negligence claims solicitors who will be pleased to discuss your
case in confidence and advise you whether a negligence claim is possible. Please
use our free, no obligation, online enquiry
form to register for a call back or call us directly on 0808 129 3320.
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