Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2023

Posted on: 3 mins read
Kate Sweeney

Head of Clinical Negligence

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This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, a national campaign by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to highlight how women and people with cervixes can reduce their risk of getting the illness.

Jo’s Trust are running a #WeCan campaign, to work towards a day where cervical cancer is a thing of the past. See how you can get involved.

For most, preventing cervical cancer involves getting a smear test, as cervical screening is a hugely important safety measure. But many people think twice about booking their smear test. Some are still worried about getting Coronavirus, and putting more pressures on the NHS at a time of crisis.

We know that getting a smear test can be daunting and you may feel uncomfortable. It's easy to ignore it or put it off, but it's important to speak to your doctor. If you’re overdue, why not set a reminder to get in touch with the GP next time you’re free? They’ll let you know what appointments are available, whether you should attend, and what Covid safety measures are in place. You usually only need to get a smear test once every three years.

Regular smear tests can prevent up to three-quarters of cervical cancer cases, so we’d strongly urge you to contact your GP if it’s time for your screening. You might be surprised at how quickly the appointment goes. Nurses are trained to put you at ease, and are used to doing millions of smear tests.

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Getting a late or incorrect diagnosis of cervical cancer

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors often help women who’ve been given a late or incorrect diagnosis of cervical cancer, or weren’t diagnosed at all. So we understand how devastating the impact of not getting screened quickly enough could be.

It can take many years for cervical cancer to develop, which is why it’s so important to have regular smear tests. A screening should make sure that any pre-cancerous cells are detected, diagnosed and treated, before it can develop into cervical cancer.

But sadly, issues with smear tests can and do happen, with signs of cervical cancer being missed and test results being misinterpreted. That can mean your diagnosis comes later than it should have done, which can then lead to women needing more invasive treatment and being ill for longer.

Finding out you’ve got cervical cancer even after attending regular smear test appointments can be shocking and distressing. So if there’s been an issue with your screening, we’re here to help you and can guide you through what to do next.

How our solicitors can help you

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors could help you claim compensation if there was negligence during your care. Compensation could cover day-to-day living costs if you’ve been unable to work. It could also pay for any further care, support and treatment you may need.

We’ll carry out a thorough investigation to work out if any mistakes have been made with your treatment. We’ll instruct an independent medical expert to look at your previous test results to see if signs of cervical cancer could and should have been spotted earlier.

Of course, no amount of compensation can undo what’s happened to you. But it can make a big difference to your life in the future, and make sure you’re not struggling to get what you need.

Taking legal action can also lead to wider improvements in patient safety. It can help the NHS learn from any clinical errors that have happened and take steps to prevent similar mistakes happening to other people.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors offer a free claims assessment and will be happy to discuss your situation with you. Ask us if we can act for you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

How we’ve helped others after medical negligence

We have a strong track record of helping people who’ve received a late cervical cancer diagnosis get the compensation and support they deserve. For example, we recently helped a man whose wife died after doctors missed symptoms of cervical cancer. Sadly, her condition was incurable. Our expert stated that if these mistakes hadn’t happened in her healthcare, our client’s wife wouldn’t have developed invasive cervical cancer and passed away when she did.

We took on the case and identified a potential medical negligence claim against both her GP surgery and the hospital she’d been referred to. We obtained expert evidence, which identified several failings with her care. It was their view that if these mistakes hadn’t happened, our client’s wife wouldn’t have developed invasive cervical cancer.

Following mediation with the NHS, a compensation settlement of £300,000 was agreed. The NHS Trust also offered to write a formal apology to our client, which reassured him that it had learned lessons from what had happened to his wife.

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