Cervical Cancer Statistics
In 2006, the American Cancer Society estimates that almost 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the US. During the same time period, it is estimated that 4,000 women will die from the disease. The fatality numbers are troubling, but they have actually decreased 74% from 1992. The reason is due to a large increase in the number of women who have yearly Pap exams, a test that can effectively detect pre-cancerous cervical cells in their earliest stages. When the abnormal cells are caught early through the Pap test, they can be easily removed to prevent the cancer from developing.
Medical Malpractice Related to Cervical Cancer
Since Pap tests are so accurate and vital in catching pre-cancerous cells before they becomes deadly, it is absolutely critical that the doctors and lab personnel who administer the Pap tests and interpret the results do it with the utmost concentration and care. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of these results are being misread each year, causing many women to have to battle a cancer that could have been prevented.
When errors do occur and the doctor or lab technician is to blame, a case for medical malpractice can be made. The most common cervical cancer malpractice suits usually involve the doctor’s or lab personnel’s failure to:
- Conduct a Pap test when the patient is exhibiting possible cervical cancer symptoms
- Properly perform the Pap test in order to get accurate results
- Recognize visible cancerous cells during a routine cervical exam
- Perform a biopsy of abnormal tissue found through a Pap test
- Properly interpret the Pap test or biopsy results
- Respond quickly to abnormal results and begin the necessary treatment
What To Do If You Are a Victim of Medical Practice
If you believe your doctor failed to diagnose your cervical cancer, you should seek legal counsel immediately. A qualified attorney who specializes in ‘failure to diagnose’ medical malpractice lawsuits can analyze your case and tell you if there is enough evidence to pursue a lawsuit. The majority of medical malpractice lawyers do not charge fees until your case is won or settled out of court, so there should be no up-front expense to worry about.
It is important to know that failure to diagnose cases can be difficult to win for several reasons. These factors include that it is hard to obtain important medical records and other evidence from the medical facility, it’s difficult to secure witnesses willing to testify against the defendants, and most hospitals can afford the best defense attorneys money can buy. Regardless of this, many failure to diagnose lawsuits have been successfully tried to verdicts and many more have been settled out of court.
The factor that is most important in winning a medical malpractice lawsuit is whether the responsible party acted negligently. If this can be proven, and the defendant’s negligence in failing to diagnose your cancer can be directly linked to the increased severity of your injury, you may be successful in pursuing a failure to diagnose claim for monetary damages. The damages that you are able to sue for include reimbursement for current and future medical bills, reimbursement for current and future lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.
If you or someone you know has suffered from medical malpractice, please contact a personal injury lawyer.