When caught early, cervical cancer is curable. When diagnosis is delayed, however, it may literally mean the difference between life and death. The five-year survival rate for cervical cancer is over 91 percent with early diagnosis and treatment, for those diagnosed in the later stages of disease.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in 2010, 11,818 U.S. women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,939 died. A West Palm Beach delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer lawyer understands the anguish you may be going through with a late diagnosis of this disease and could help you seek appropriate compensation. Call an experienced attorney today.
Cervical Cancer and Pap Smears
When women undergo their annual gynecological examination, they should receive a Pap test, or Pap smear, which detects abnormal cells in the cervix. The Pap test can detect both cervical cancer cells and cells which may become cancerous in the future.
Since the widespread use of the Pap test began in the 1940s, the number of cervical cancer cases has dropped dramatically, and it is no longer a leading killer of women. Current guidelines for Pap tests recommend that screening should start at age 21, with testing done every three years until age 30.
Women aged 30 and up should choose either a Pap test annually. If issues are detected via the Pap test, patients must undergo additional testing for a definite diagnosis.
Many women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer have not had regular Pap tests. Delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer, however, affects women who do undergo Pap testing but do not have their cancer detected promptly by either a medical laboratory or their doctor.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Pain during intercourse
- Foul vaginal discharge
- Blood-tinged vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain
Women experiencing any of these symptoms should visit their doctor immediately, even if they recently had a cervical cancer screening. Afterwards, they may want to contact a West Palm Beach delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer attorney if it turns out their condition could have been prevented with appropriate medical care.
Delayed Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
What causes a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis when a woman is having regular Pap tests or she has visited the doctor due to experiencing potential cervical cancer symptoms? Often, it has to do with the misreading of test results by pathologists or physicians.
HPV infection is closely connected with cervical cancer. If a woman tests positive for HPV, but it not immediately tested for cervical cancer, that omission is potentially a reason for bringing a malpractice suit.
How a Lawyer Could Help
Healthcare professionals must follow strict rules when it comes to cancer screening practices. There are also risk factors that increase a woman’s likelihood of developing cervical cancer. If a doctor knew of these risk factors but did not perform a Pap test on a woman, that doctor may have committed malpractice.
A lawyer in West Palm Beach who specializes in delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer could hire experts to investigate a potential plaintiff’s case and evaluate all records. While most cases are settled, dedicated legal counsel should not hesitate to go to trial when necessary.
Work with a West Palm Beach Delayed Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer Attorney Today
If you or a loved one received a delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer, the resulting consequences could be deadly. Call a West Palm Beach delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer lawyer today to arrange an initial consultation.
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