Squamous Cell Cancer of the Cervix
Squamous cell cancer is the most common type of cervical cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, nine out of ten patients diagnosed with the disease have this type of cancer. If your doctor did not diagnose your squamous cell cancer of the cervix correctly and you were not treated promptly, you may have legal options. Contact a dedicated cervical cancer lawyer who could work to hold a negligent physician accountable and fight for fair compensation.
Cervical Cancer Statistics
Every year, 5,000 women in the United States die from cervical cancer. That number is far lower than those associated with breast, ovarian, uterine, and other female reproductive system cancers, but that is largely because cervical cancer is usually curable with early and proper detection.
If a woman ignores symptoms of cervical cancer, she would likely not be eligible to seek damages. However, if her Pap test was misread or she was otherwise misdiagnosed, that mistake on the part of the laboratory, pathologist or doctor can cost the woman her life.
A woman receiving regular gynecological examinations should have the Pap test performed at least every three years, according to current medical guidelines. No doctor should ever tell a patient after finding abnormal cells in a Pap test that a “wait and see” approach is acceptable.
Defining Squamous Cell Cancer of the Cervix
Squamous cell cancers develop from cells in the exocervix, the area closest to the vagina. The part of the cervix is also known as the ectocervix. When placed under the microscope, these cancer cells are relatively easy to identify because of their distinctive features.
Squamous cell carcinomas usually start developing in the so-called “transformation zone,” where the exocervix meets the endocervix, which is closest to the uterus. The transformation zone is not a set place, as its location changes after a woman gives birth and with aging.
Before turning cancerous, normal cervical cells start developing a pre-cancerous state. This pre-cancerous state is what a Pap test picks up, alerting doctors to cervical cell changes.
Not every woman found with precancerous cells will go on to develop cervical cancer—most of these cell changes resolve on their own. However, when pre-cancerous cells are found and treated, a woman’s odds of contracting cervical cancer lowers significantly.
Squamous Cell Cancer of the Cervix Treatment Options
When squamous cell cancer of the cervix is identified, women have several treatment options. These include:
- Laser surgery
- LEEP/LEETZ – Loop electrosurgical excision procedure
- Cold knife conization
- Hysterectomy, if required
Treatment options also depend on whether a woman wants to retain fertility. However, the stage of the squamous cell cancer when detected will also determine treatment options. All but the earliest stages of cervical cancer are generally treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Once cervical cancer reaches stage 4B, though, it is considered incurable.
Women who may have avoided squamous cell cancer of the cervix had it been correctly diagnosed at an early stage may have to undergo far more debilitating and prolonged treatment and their long-term prognosis are not favorable.
Contact an Attorney to Learn More About Squamous Cell Cervical Cancer
If you or a loved one were misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis of squamous cell cancer of the cervix, you may need the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Let an accomplished lawyer help you. Call today for a free initial consultation.