In developed countries like the United States, cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease. When detected in its earliest stages, cervical cancer can be effectively treated and has a high survival rate. However, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cervical cancer can result in a delay of critical treatment, putting a woman’s health and life in danger.
While almost 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the United States and more than 4,000 will die as a result of the disease, cervical cancer can be preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening. To focus attention on issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection, the United States Congress has designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month.
What is Cervical Cancer?
All cancers start when the cells in a certain part of the body begin to grow abnormally. Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix, the narrow opening into the uterus from the vagina. All women are at risk for cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is far and away the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Although approximately 80% of women will have been infected with some type of HPV by age 50, few of these women will develop cervical cancer.
A woman in the precancerous or early stages of cervical cancer may not exhibit any symptoms of the disease. Regular Pap test screenings and HPV tests are the most effective ways to detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages. The sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the more successful treatments to prevent its development and spread are likely to be.
Treatments for cervical cancer can range from cryotherapy, laser therapy or loop electrosurgical excision procedure to destroy the cancer in its early stages to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery in more advanced cases.
Misdiagnosis of Cervical Cancer puts Women’s Health at Risk
For the best results, treatment must begin as soon as cervical cancer is diagnosed. Unfortunately, a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose cervical cancer can delay needed treatment and put a woman’s health at serious risk.
Misinterpretation of the results of a Pap test or failure to provide adequate recommendations for treatment are examples of the types of medical errors that can delay treatment for cervical cancer.
A Misdiagnosis of Cervical Cancer May Be Medical Malpractice
When medical professionals fail to provide their patients with the standard level of care they deserve and their patients suffer, that patient may be able to seek compensation for the damages caused by their error.
At the law office of Lisa S. Levine, we are proud to promote Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. As one of Fort Lauderdale’s, Florida’s and the nation’s most respected medical malpractice attorneys, Lisa has represented many clients who have suffered serious complications from a preventable and treatable disease as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer. Successfully pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be a difficult undertaking; you’ll want a lawyer with Lisa’s experience and legal skills fighting on your side.
If you are a woman who has suffered as a result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis of cervical cancer, please contact Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney Lisa Levine today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.