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Cervical cancer refers to cancerous growths on the cervix, which connects the uterus and birth canal. Though cervical cancer often forms slowly, it is frequently missed by doctors and other medical professionals, resulting in deadly consequences. It is often called the silent killer.
Normal cells in the cervix slowly develop into pre-cancerous cells, and then into one of two types of cancerous cells. Squamous cell carcinoma involves cancerous cells which are flat and thin, and cause 80-90% of all cervical cancer cases. Adenocarcinoma is becoming increasingly common in women, and develops closer to the uterus than does squamous cell carcinoma. Cases involving both squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are called mixed carcinomas.
Read Cervical Cancer FAQ
There are few symptoms for cervical cancer, so early detection depends on being proactive. Frequent pap smears can lead to a cervical cancer diagnosis early enough to prevent the cancer from spreading. However, even if you have not had frequent pap smears, a doctor, obstetrician, or gynecologist should be on guard for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer, like all other cancers, has a better outcome when caught early. Getting regular PAP smears will help in the detection of precancerous changes in the cervix. Any female who is sexually active, or who reaches the age of 20, should have an annual pelvic exam as well as a PAP smear. Unfortunately, most of the time, cervical cancer has no symptoms and that is why annual PAP smears are so important. However, there are some things you can be vigilant about with your own care. If you have any of the following symptoms, you need to report them to your doctor: abnormal bleeding between periods, bleeding after sexual activity or after menopause; unusual vaginal discharge; changes in your period such as heavier periods or periods lasting longer than usual; and pain with sexual intercourse. If you experience any of these symptoms, do not ignore them. Be assertive and armed with the facts that these findings could be signs of cervical cancer. Do not put off your annual exam and make sure to give your doctor a complete history of any of these potential symptoms because early detection counts. If caught early, cervical cancer has a very high cure rate.
At Richards & Richards, LLP, our attorneys and staff have decades of experience determining whether medical malpractice has occurred. Our experience and medical knowledge is second-to-none; one of our firm’s attorneys, Veronica Richards, worked as a nurse practitioner before beginning work as a lawyer in 1989. Please contact an experienced Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer via emailor call 412-261-2620, if you believe that delayed cervical cancer diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or other medical errors contributed to the suffering of you or your loved one.
Our lawyers offer free, no-obligation initial consultations for all medical malpractice and differential diagnosis cases. If you cannot make it to our Pittsburgh, PA office, our lawyers can come to you.