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Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: '1 in 3 women fail to attend screening

To raise awareness of the importance of screening in the fight to end cervical cancer, the UK's leading cervical cancer charity Jo's Trust suggests that one in three women do not attend free NHS smear tests.

The national cervical screening programme within the UK means that every woman between the ages of 25 to 64 should be invited for regular cervical screening.

Cervical screening helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called HPV and cervical cell changes. A nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix in a simple process which only takes a few minutes. 

Jo's Trust offers further information and support regarding cervical screening and/or a diagnosis of abnormal cells or cervical cancer.

As a medical negligence lawyer who specialises in cervical cancer claims, I regularly witness the negative impact of delays in diagnosing cervical cancer. The good news is that cervical screening is an effective way of identifying abnormal cells early even before cancer develops. This means that cervical cancer can often be avoided by attending regular smear tests.

Read about Christina's case against East Kent Hospitals University Trust

If abnormal cells are identified by a cervical smear test they can often be effectively treated. There are also effective treatments available for cervical cancer if caught early. The earlier a diagnosis is made the greater the chance of a cure.

Unfortunately – although rarely - medical mistakes are made that lead to delays in diagnosing and treating abnormal cells or cervical cancer and this can lead to devastating consequences. To succeed in a medical negligence claim you need to prove that the error affected the outcome. A couple of common examples of successful claims that I have settled are:

  • Misreported smear tests and therefore a missed opportunity to treat abnormal cells leading to development of cervical cancer.
  • Delays in diagnosing cervical cancer leading to progression of cancer and poorer prognosis.

If you are concerned that you may have experienced medical negligence, pursuing a claim can help you to get help, support and financial compensation. You can find out more about cervical cancer misdiagnosis claims here.

Alternatively, you can contact me by emailing christina.gardiner@fieldfisher.com or by calling 0330 460 6746.

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