According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of cervical cancer diagnoses has been on the decline for the past forty years. However, an estimated 13,000 women will still receive cervical cancer diagnoses in the coming year. Cervical cancer is a serious concern, however with proper screening and treatment, is highly treatable. In addition, modern screening tests such as the Pap smear test can detect precancerous cells, and when conducted properly, may prevent a woman from developing cervical cancer.
However, a doctor or laboratory may fail to conduct a proper screening exam or fail to identify the symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer resulting in misdiagnosing cervical cancer. Florida Statute Section 766.102 requires doctors to provide patients with professional care and act as a reasonably prudent health care provider. Regarding cervical cancer, this can include conducting regular screening tests, following up on abnormal results, and properly treating cervical cancer.
Because cervical cancer often does not present any symptoms until it has spread to other areas of the body, it is critical that a doctor properly screen and diagnose any abnormal cells in their early stages to prevent cervical cancer from spreading.
If you or a loved one developed cervical cancer, consult a Palm Beach Gardens cervical cancer misdiagnosis lawyer to determine if your doctor is liable for medical malpractice. A qualified cervical cancer attorney could advocate for you.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Cervical cancer is often caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and affects the cervix. As stated above, cervical cancer often does not present any symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
Physicians should carefully consider these symptoms along with other risk factors including smoking, a weakened immune system, and having multiple children.
How Does Misdiagnosis Occur?
One of a doctor’s most important responsibilities is to properly assess a patient, taking into consideration their symptoms and medical history to reach a proper diagnosis. Therefore, a doctor may misdiagnose cervical cancer by failing to thoroughly review a woman’s medical history, failing to conduct a pelvic exam as part of a regular physical exam, and failing to note symptoms and warning signs.
The Pap test is one of the most effective tests for detecting abnormal cervical cells and is part of the significant decrease in the number of cervical cancer cases. Doctors may misdiagnose cervical cancer if they fail to conduct a Pap smear test. In addition, a doctor may make a cervical cancer misdiagnosis if they fail to follow up on abnormal Pap test results.
Cervical Cancer Treatments and Compensation
Cervical cancer can cause serious complications and even death if cancer cells are able to spread to other areas of the body. Treatment for cervical cancer can range from minor surgery for early-stage cancers, to more invasive treatments including radiation, chemotherapy, and invasive surgical procedures. Each course of treatment depends on the size of a tumor and whether the cancer spread to other areas of the body.
In the case where a doctor misdiagnoses cervical cancer to the point of medical malpractice pursuant to Fla. Stat section 766.102(1), they may be liable for compensating a woman or her family for their losses. Under Florida Statute Section 766.202(3), (8) a woman who a doctor misdiagnosed with cervical cancer may receive compensation covering economic damages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life.
Speaking With a Palm Beach Gardens Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
Enduring cervical cancer and treatment can be incredibly painful and expensive. Even if it is caught in the earlier stages it still may require surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
If you or a loved one suffered cervical cancer due to a misdiagnosis, contact a dedicated and experienced Palm Beach Gardens cervical cancer misdiagnosis lawyer today. An attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve and be an advocate during this difficult time.