Every year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. While cervical cancer is considered the second most common type of cancer amongst women, it is also cited as one of the most preventable types of cancer, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.
The number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer has declined over the past several decades, due in part to more effective screening tests such as the Pap test. However, in order for a Pap smear to be an effective tool, a healthcare provider must carefully gather cells from the cervix and surrounding tissue, and this sample must then be carefully examined for abnormal cells.
Despite the overall effectiveness of the Pap smear, medical errors do occur that can result in a potential Pap smear misdiagnosis. Doctors and healthcare providers in Palm Beach Gardens are expected to provide their patients with the proper level of care and treatment, and a Pap smear misdiagnosis may constitute medical malpractice.
A Palm Beach Gardens Pap smear misdiagnosis lawyer could help you pursue compensation if you develop cervical cancer due to a Pap smear misdiagnosis. Contact an experienced injury attorney today to begin your claim.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by cancerous cells that develop in a woman’s cervix. There are numerous causes and risk factors for cervical cancer, including certain strains of the human Papillomavirus (HPV), sexually transmitted diseases, and having multiple children or multiple sexual partners.
If cervical cancer or abnormal pre-cancerous cells are detected early, it is often easily treated. However, if abnormal cervical cells are not properly identified and treated, cervical cancer cells can quickly spread to other areas of the body such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, and then to other areas of the body not connected to the reproductive system.
The Pap Test
The Pap test, which is also called a Pap smear, is a simple screening test used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix which may become cancerous if not properly treated. The test is commonly performed in a doctor’s office and involves a doctor or nurse collecting cells and mucus from the cervix and surrounding area. When this test is conducted properly, it can help prevent cervical cancer from developing.
When Could a Pap Smear Test Lead to a Lawsuit?
After a Pap smear is conducted, a doctor or nurse will then place the cells on a slide and send the slide to a laboratory, where the sample will be checked for any abnormal cells. There are several scenarios in which a Pap smear test may result in a misdiagnosis, including:
- A healthcare professional failing to conduct a Pap smear test
- A healthcare professional conducting a Pap smear test incorrectly
- Improper placement of a Pap smear sample on a slide, leading to a contaminated or inaccurate sample
- Failing to properly identify cancerous cells
- Failing to contact and follow up with the patient after abnormal cells are detected
Healthcare professionals have a duty and obligation to provide competent and professional medical care and to meet the standards and expectations of a duly licensed medical professional. The above-mentioned examples are all instances where a medical professional may be considered negligent and subsequently held liable for medical malpractice.
Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Pap Smear Misdiagnosis Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or worsened physical health because a doctor misdiagnosed cervical cancer or failed to diagnose cervical cancer after a Pap smear, then contact a Palm Beach Gardens Pap smear misdiagnosis lawyer. Cervical cancer can impact the rest of your life, and a Pap smear misdiagnosis attorney could help ensure you receive the compensation and support you deserve as a result of a misdiagnosis.