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Case #4049 Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Lead to Death


The Plaintiffs’ Decedent was a patient at high risk for the development of cervical cancer.  She saw the Defendant health care providers for an examination, which included taking a history of gynecological history and performance of a pap smear.  The pap smear showed abnormalities which, these Defendants failed to accurately interpret.  Accurate interpretation of the pap smears would have led to timely performance of a follow up colposcopy or biopsy.  Had such additional testing been done, the patient would have been diagnosed with an early stage cervical cancer, which would have been timely treated and cured.  As a result, the early cervical cancer was not diagnosed or treated but rather, was left to grow and spread.

Subsequently, another pap smear was obtained, but again was misread as normal when it also showed cervical abnormalities.  Again, appropriate testing that would have included colposcopy or biopsy should have been performed, but was not.  Once again, the cervical cancer was left to locally grow, extend and ultimately metastasize.

The following year, the patient returned to her health care providers for an additional pap smear which was accurately read. Finally, at this time, the patient was tested and ultimately found to have an infiltrating cervical cancer in its later stages.

The Plaintiffs contend that had the cancer been diagnosed sooner, the patient would have been timely and appropriately treated.  Because she was not, the patient’s disease has spread significantly, causing her to face a terminal prognosis.  She subsequently died from the metastatic effects of her cancer.

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