Most woman have gone through a PAP smear as part of an annual gynecological examination. This test is the best screening tool for cervical cancer that women have access to on a regular basis. Medical care standards state that any woman who is at least 18 years old should have one of these tests each year regardless of whether she is sexually active. Simply having a PAP smear, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the woman will be properly diagnosed when problems are present.
For women who aren’t diagnosed early, cervical cancer can be life-threatening. In fact, early detection is one of the factors that is responsible for the decline in cervical cancer mortality. In terms of cancer mortality, cervical cancer ranks sixth today. Before 1940, however, it was the leading cause of death from a malignancy in women.
Today, women count on medical professionals to accurately interpret PAP smears. When medical professionals fail to interpret these tests accurately, the failure to diagnose cancer of the cervix in a timely manner is a harsh reality. For women who fall victim to that failure to diagnose, the battle against the cancer is often uphill because the cancer has had a chance to run rampant in the woman’s body.
Women who weren’t diagnosed with cervical cancer in accordance with the current standards of medical care accepted in Pennsylvania might choose to pursue legal action against the medical professional. While that won’t help her in her medical battle, it can help her fight against the difficult financial battle that fighting cancer entails. Having a team that includes oncologists familiar with diagnosing and treating cervical cancer can often help to make the legal battle a little easier.
Source: Rosen, Louik & Perry, “Cervical Cancer” Sep. 01, 2014