Misread pap smears fail to detect cervical cancer early, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering, more invasive treatment, and premature death. Critics say new efficiencies in test analysis, designed to maximize profits, have resulted in a higher likelihood of misread pap smear tests. Women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer with no prior indication of precancerous cells should be checked for possible misread pap smear results in their medical history. Attorneys handling misread pap test lawsuits believe these persons and their family members may be eligible for significant compensation. This page provides a comprehensive look at misread pap smears in relation to delayed cervical cancer diagnosis.
Pap smear tests are a screening tool that enable the early detection of cervical cancer. Simply put, a pap smear is the analysis of a sample of cells extracted from the cervix. The cells are examined under a microscope to determine whether abnormal or potentially precancerous cells are present. Dysplasia is the medical term referring to the presence of abnormal or precancerous cells. Not all abnormal cells will turn into cancer. Types of irregular cells that may be found during a pap smear include:
When abnormal cells are located on a pap test slide, further testing such as colposcopy or biopsy is typically required to determine the nature of the dysplasia. Failure to follow up on an abnormal result is one reason for the delay of cervical cancer diagnosis. If further investigation does occur, and cancerous or precancerous cells are confirmed, the cells can be removed to prevent further spread or development of the disease.
Since the pap smear test was developed, death rates from cervical cancer have decreased. However, changes made to pap smear processing, and possible negligence on the part of individual practitioners, still mean that many patients suffer as a result of misread pap smear results. When used effectively, pap smear testing should enable providers to detect signs of cancer long before a threat to the patient's life. When the first detection of cervical cancer reveals an advanced form of the disease, there is a good chance of a previous misread pap smear.
Cervical cancer develops slowly, can be detected early through routine pap smear testing, and is largely treatable. Pap tests that detect precancerous cells allow practitioners to remove the threat before cancer develops. If cancerous cells are found in a pap smear before the cancer has advanced and spread, treatment may also be relatively non-invasive. Yet many women are dying of cervical cancer. Experts point to several problems with the current system, which result in missed cancer diagnosis due to false negative pap smear results:
A misread pap smear that misses precancerous or cancerous cells puts women at risk. Early detection allows doctors to remove the cells in a minimally-invasive way. Costs are lower, suffering is less, and the patient's life is preserved. When a misread pap smear causes a false negative result, the cancer may grow and develop for several years before it is detected. This can result in invasive treatment such as full hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, undue suffering, and even untimely death.
Our attorneys specialize in seeking justice on behalf of patients and their families who have been harmed by dangerous drugs or unsafe medical practices. Through settlements and winning verdicts, our attorneys have obtained millions for our clients. Let us help you today.
Filing a lawsuit will allow you seek justice for damage a misread pap smear has caused you or a loved one, while also providing real compensation for your medical expenses, suffering and loss. Contact us today for a free consultation.