Cervical cancer can be a devastating illness, often resulting in affected women losing the ability to bear children. In many cases, however, a delayed diagnosis might necessitate in more aggressive and debilitating treatment and may even have fatal consequences.
As traumatic as a cervical cancer diagnosis is, a misread Pap smear could be worse since early intervention may have made a huge difference in your outcome. While a West Palm Beach misread Pap smears lawyer may not restore your health or fertility, they can work tirelessly on your behalf. A compassionate cervical cancer attorney could ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Pap Smears and Cervical Cancer
A Pap smear or test is part of a standard gynecological checkup. The test involves the collection of cells from the cervix—the end of the uterus on top of the vagina—and determining whether there are abnormal cells present that may indicate a future cervical cancer risk. Since the development and widespread use of the Pap smear over the past 60 years, cervical cancer deaths have plummeted in the developed world.
Generally, Pap smears are done every three years during a pelvic examination for women between the ages of 21 and 65. Certain women may require more frequent Pap smears. Risk factors may include a previous Pap smear with suspicious cells, a weakened immune system, and exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero.
When precancerous cells are detected early, treatment could be initiated and cervical cancer may potentially be prevented. If a Pap smear is misread when cancer cells are present, valuable treatment time may be lost, and the affected woman may eventually have to undergo a hysterectomy along with radiation and chemotherapy. If a person is dealing with the consequences of a misread Pap smear or a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis, a West Palm Beach misread Pap smears attorney can assist in seeking compensation.
Misreads and Diagnosis Delays
After a gynecologist retrieves a cell sample through a Pap test, it is sent to a laboratory for interpretation. The reading is usually performed by a technician, not a physician. Technicians may misread the Pap smear, leading to inaccurate results sent to the gynecologist.
Another reason for diagnosis delay may lie with the gynecologist, who upon receiving information about an abnormal Pap smear fails to follow up with the patient. If a patient complains about certain symptoms indicative of possible cervical cancer—such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain during sex, or pelvic pain—and the doctor does not perform further testing, that may also result in a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis. An accomplished lawyer specializing in handling these types of cases can help an individual understand how the medical error occurred, and what compensation they may be entitled to.
How an Attorney Could Help
When conducted and read correctly, Pap smears detect cancerous conditions early and save lives. If a woman undergoes regular Pap testing, receives negative results, and yet is later diagnosed with cervical cancer, there may be a good chance that her Pap smear was misread.
Ironically, the increased use of technology has actually also increased the number of misread Pap smears, since technicians are now expected to screen hundreds of tests daily and the risk of human error increases. A misread Pap smears lawyer in West Palm Beach could work to determine whether a laboratory or gynecologist was responsible for the misread Pap smear and subsequent delayed cervical cancer diagnosis.
Work with a West Palm Beach Misread Pap Smears Attorney
If you or a loved one developed cervical cancer due to the negligence of a doctor or pathologist, you may benefit from speaking to a knowledgeable West Palm Beach misread Pap smears lawyer. Call today to set up a consultation and start exploring your options for seeking compensation.