Screening for Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of death due to cancer for women in America. Screenings are used to determine whether a woman has experienced changes in the cells of her cervix that could lead to cervical cancer. They may include Pap smears, testing for human papillomavirus (HPV), or both. It is crucial for physicians to perform regular screenings because when cancer progresses without treatment, it can become advanced, spreading to other organs of the body, or even turning fatal. If you believe your physician may have failed to diagnose you due because he or she failed to follow screening guidelines for cervical cancer, you should call the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. For decades, our firm has represented cancer patients seeking the best outcome after being harmed by their doctors.Call Seasoned Trial Attorneys for Failure to Screen for Cervical Cancer
Screening is vital for Syracuse women because it gives them the best chances of having cervical cancer detected early enough that treatment is likely to be successful. Additionally, when a screening is performed, abnormal cervical cancer cell changes, known as precancers, can be addressed very early on to prevent cervical cancer from developing.
Pap smears have been the most common form of screening, but more recently, the HPV test, which looks for infection by those with high risk of HPV, has been approved for this purpose. It can be conducted on its own, or at the same time a Pap test is performed. Unfortunately, not all doctors take steps to adequately screen their patients.
Various organizations provide the details of what doctors should do to provide good, regular screenings for cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society, for instance, recommends screening guidelines for women at ordinary risk of cervical cancer, but the guidelines differ if you’ve already been diagnosed with cervical precancers or cervical cancer. Generally, when you have ordinary risk of cancer, cervical screening should start at age 25. Between the ages of 25-65, you should have an HPV test every five years, or a combined test every five years. Alternatively, women are advised to have a Pap smear by itself every 3 years.
If you are over age 65 and you’ve had screenings with normal results and you have no history of diagnoses related to your cervix, your Syracuse doctor may recommend that you stop screening, and it will not need to be resumed. Cervical cancer screenings should be continued even after a woman’s children are born and even after vaccination against HPV. Certain individuals at high risk, such as those with suppressed immune systems, may need more frequent screening. Moreover, if you have a history of a serious pre-cancer, you should continue to have testing for at least 25 years after that condition was found, even if the testing goes past age 65.Proving Medical Malpractice in Syracuse
Not every failure to screen and diagnose cervical cancer is medical malpractice. Our seasoned medical malpractice lawyers will need to retain an expert to provide an opinion about your specific situation to evaluate the worth of the case. Generally, we will need to prove through a combination of fact and expert evidence: (1) your doctor owed you a professional standard of care to screen you for cervical cancer, (2) your doctor departed from the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) you suffered actual damages as the result of your doctor’s failure.
The professional standard of care may differ depending on your doctor or doctors’ specialties and geographic location. For example, if your Syracuse obstetrician-gynecologist failed to follow screening guidelines used by other obstetrician-gynecologists in Upstate New York, and as a result did not catch abnormal cell growth in your cervix and it progressed and spread, there may have been a breach of the professional standard of care.Hire an Aggressive Medical Malpractice Attorney for Your Cervical Cancer Claim
When appropriate screening guidelines are not followed, you may face a worsened prognosis for cervical cancer. It’s painful to realize that the harm could have been prevented if only a doctor abided by the professional standard of care. Give us a call if you suspect cancer malpractice. The veteran Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys seek justice for cancer patients and their families in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, Buffalo, Albany, Elmira, and all of Upstate New York. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.