Cervical Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims
Thousands of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year however only about half are diagnosed early enough to affect a cure. The key to survival is early diagnosis and treatment which is often delayed due to misdiagnosis or misinterpreted test results. Cervical cancer misdiagnosis is extremely common and failure by a healthcare practitioner that amounts to negligence is a matter of medical malpractice and entitles the victim to claim financial recompense for pain and suffering or the loss of opportunity for a cure. Our specialist medical malpractice lawyers deal with cervical cancer clinical negligence cases against doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers working in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and all other places where health care is dispensed. If you would like advice about cervical cancer misdiagnosis just contact our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer with call to discuss your potential compensation claim without charge and without further obligation. Our medical malpractice lawyers will give you their opinion on the liability of the negligent healthcare provider and will estimate the amount of the likely award of damages there and then.
Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Facts
Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of death in women in Canada. Now, with screening tests such as the pap test for cervical cancer, fewer and fewer people are diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer so that the survival rate is much improved. This has all happened within the past 40 years or so. The rates of cervical cancer are now expected to further decrease, now that the human papillomavirus vaccination is available to younger women. HPV or human papillomavirus is believed to be a major contributing factor to getting cancer of the cervix.
Currently, over 1,000 women in Canada get cervical cancer each year. About 400 of these people will ultimately die from this cancer. The rate of death is directly proportional to the stage of cancer, which is usually less with an active screening program.
Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which is the lowest part of the uterus that opens out into the top of the vagina. It is the third most common kind of cancer in women worldwide but less common in Canada due to pap smear screening. Cervical cancer begins rather slowly and there is a lot of time to screen for early cervical cancer. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell cancers although a few types are considered columnar type cervical cancer. Undetected dysplasia of the cervix (precancerous cells) goes on to develop cervical cancer which spreads to other pelvic and abdominal areas, including the bladder, intestines, liver and lungs. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomaviruses. There are some types of HPV that do not cause cervical cancer. HPV is also a cause of genital warts.
Other risk factors for cervical cancer are having multiple sex partners, having sex at an earlier age, having poor economic status and those who participate in high risk sexual activities. Women who had mothers who took DES in pregnancy during the 1960s are at higher risk for cervical cancer. Women with an inadequate immune system are also at higher risk for the disease.
The main symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding after menopause, between periods or with sexual activity. Many early cases of cervical cancer have no symptoms at all. If the periods become heavier or longer than they normally were, this is a sign of cervical cancer. Low back pain can indicate advanced cervical cancer, as can bone fractures, tiredness, leakage of urine or feces from the vaginal area, leg pain, loss of appetite, a single swollen leg, weight loss and pelvic pain.
Doctors have multiple ways to detect cervical cancer, including the Pap test. The Pap test can lead to a colposcopy, which is a microscope examination of the cervix. Dye can be used to highlight abnormal areas of the cervix, which can then be biopsied. The biopsied areas can be looked at under the microscope to see if and where cancer is present. A CT scan or MRI scan of the pelvis can be done to look for metastases and local areas of expansion of the cancer in advanced cervical cancer.
One way to look for cancer and get rid of it at the same time is doing a cone biopsy. You have this done when cancer is a definite and the doctor wants to remove the cancer and see if the margins can be gotten out as well as the cancer. Another way to prove cervical cancer is to do an endocervical curettage, which can find cancer cells but cannot get the whole cancer out. Chest x-rays are performed to see if the cancer has spread to the chest. A cystoscopy can tell if the bladder is involved.
The treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of the tumor as well as on the general health and age of the woman. The size and shape of the tumor make a difference in what kind of treatment is done. Sometimes just part of the cervix can be removed to spare the woman’s fertility. If this isn’t an issue, then the entire uterus and cervix are removed. A LEEP procedure is done to remove localized cancer in some cases and laser therapy can burn away cancerous or precancerous tissue. Radiation and chemotherapy are used to treat more advanced cancer.