Making a cervical cancer screening claim
Cervical Screening Awareness Week provides an important reminder for all women to book their smear test and to act on anything that they feel may not be right. Around 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year, which is on average 9 new cases a day. Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer, meaning that regular screenings are essential.
However, while the nation’s screening facilities provide an invaluable service, mistakes are sometimes made. When errors occur, our medical negligence team are here to help and are experienced in dealing with cervical cancer screening claims.
In one case we recently dealt with, our client, who had previously undergone removal of a vaginal polyp, had a smear test which detected another polyp, but her test came back as ‘normal’. No further action was taken, and she was told to return for a further smear test five years later. When her vagina subsequently became inflamed she was treated for thrush. A swab test came back as “abnormal, but expected”, so again no further action was taken. Our client returned to her GP on several occasions after experiencing vaginal discharge and post coital bleeding. Further swabs were taken and she was seen by a nurse, who noted that she had a polyp, described as “the size of a small grape”.
Our client was eventually referred to the gynaecology department at North Devon District Hospital where she underwent a colposcopy. The colposcopy revealed a “suspicious looking cervix”, so biopsies were taken, and she was sadly diagnosed with grade 2b cervical cancer. An MRI scan found two large tumours on her cervix, which needed radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and brachytherapy treatment.
She consulted medical negligence solicitor Oliver Thorne who leads the team at Slee Blackwell. He pursued her cervical cancer screening claim under our popular no win no fee scheme.
An audit was carried out on our client’s previous cervical smear tests. The test that had been initially recorded as type 2 (negative), had now been audited as a grade 8 (borderline change in squamous cells). Oliver therefore argued that the hospital failed to identify the presence of abnormal cells and recorded them incorrectly as negative, which lead to them failing to grade the sample. Because of this, our client had to undergo invasive treatments, which not only caused her physical pain, but psychological stress as well.
The medical authorities refused to accept they were at fault, so Oliver brought in medical experts to prepare independent reports. These all confirmed that Oliver’s assessment was correct. After a period of negotiation, an out of court settlement was reached.
If you have been subject to a mistaken scan result and have suffered because of this, please contact our free helpline for guidance on making a cervical cancer screening claim.