Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Pap smears have the ability to effectively detect precancerous cells before they develop into cancer. However, when a pap smear is misread, they are not able to obtain the appropriate treatments to remove abnormal or precancerous cells from the cervix. When left untreated, precancerous cells can develop into cervical cancer. As a result, cervical cancer can metastasize, spreading to other areas of the body. If you have obtained a cervical cancer diagnosis that you believe was the result of a misread pap smear, not only is it important that you obtain treatment immediately, you may also want to speak with a lawyer to determine if legal action can be taken.
At what age should women start getting pap smears?
For most women, it is recommended that pap smears begin at the age of 21. When the results of a pap smear are normal, they are often only required once every three years.
Why are some women only required to have a pap smear once every three years?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are now only recommending that women with normal pap smears obtain a pap smear once every three years. It is widely believed by the medical community that less frequent screenings (every 3 years) are just as effective in early detection for cancer.
Can a pap smear prevent cancer?
Cervical cancer often begins with abnormal or precancerous cells on the cervix. The pap smear, is a specific test administered to women that has the ability to identify these abnormal cells early on, before they develop into cancer. Screenings like a pap smear, have the ability to detect these cells, and ensure that treatment is administered to remove the cells. This has the ability to prevent most forms of cervical cancer altogether.
What are the dangers of a misread pap smear?
When a pap smear is misread, abnormal and precancerous cells can go undetected. There can be significant risk associated with a misread pap smear. Hearing from your doctor that your pap smear came back normal is not something that many women give much thought. After all, we put our trust in our doctors to be able to identify when there are abnormalities that require further medical intervention. However, when a pap smear is misread, and the proper preventative measures are not taken, the impact on a patient can be life-threatening. What could have been a minimally invasive procedure to remove abnormal or precancerous cells from the cervix, may result in a cervical cancer diagnosis later on. According to the CDC, 93% of cervical cancers can be prevented. When undetected due to a misread pap smear, women may unknowingly be living with cancer, which could lead to death.
How will I know if the mistake was that of my doctor or the result of an error at the lab?
If you receive a cancer diagnosis after a pap smear came back normal, it may give you a reason to believe that either your doctor or lab made an error in reading your pap smear. Delayed diagnosis can have a number of consequences, and in some situations may even lead to death. If you believe this to be the case for you, contacting a lawyer may be in your best interest. Not only will they take the time to consult with you and carefully review your case, but they may also recommend taking legal action. When preparing your case, a lawyer is likely to obtain a medical expert witness to review medical files and test results to determine where the error occurred. Additionally, they may provide key testimony when pursuing a medical malpractice case for a misread pap smear that resulted in a cancer diagnosis.
As a patient, you trust your doctor to diligently administer effective screening for abnormal and precancerous cells. Unfortunately, when a pap smear is misread, the consequences can be catastrophic for you and your family. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Charlottesville as soon as possible so that they may review your case, and assist in determining the appropriate course of action.
Thanks to MarinWren, P.C. for their insight into medical malpractice and misread pap smears.