Cervical Cancer Lawsuits
Cervical Cancer: Information on Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments
Each year, cervical cancer kills more women in the United States than any other type of cancer caused by a virus. But unfortunately, many women are not getting screened for cervical cancer. For example, 1 in 4 females has not had a Pap smear within the last five years.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cervical cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine.
At the Law Offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact our Chicago cancer misdiagnosis lawyer today toll-free at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.
Cervical cancer develops when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix – the narrow part of the womb (uterus) – begin growing and reproducing uncontrollably and eventually form a cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign) tumor. Malignant tumors can spread to other body areas, while benign tumors do not spread.
All cases of cervical cancer begin as non-cancerous abnormal cells. However, over time, dysplasia begins with slow changes in the cells that will eventually develop into a cancerous mass.
The abnormal precancerous tissue can often be destroyed or removed without causing damage to healthy tissue. However, other times, removing the cervix and uterus through a hysterectomy is necessary to prevent the development of cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer Types
Doctors and scientists classify cervical pre-cancer conditions and cervical malignancy by how the unusual cells appear under the microscope. The categorization of these diseases typically falls under three different classifications involving squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and mixed carcinomas.
- Squamous Cell Carcinomas: Nearly 90 percent of all cervical cancers are categorized as squamous cell carcinomas that develop from unusual cells in the exocervix, the protective mucous membrane outside the cervix. Most commonly, squamous cell carcinoma develops in the cervix transformational zone where the endocervix meets the exocervix.
- Adenocarcinomas: Cancerous adenocarcinoma typically starts in endocervix mucus-producing gland cells. The rate of cervical adenocarcinoma cases has risen dramatically over the last three decades.
- Mixed Carcinomas (adenosquamous carcinomas): Though rare, women can develop mixed carcinomas or adenosquamous carcinomas that have features of both squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
While the list above represents nearly all cervical cancer cases, other forms of the disease can grow in the cervix from different body areas. These include melanoma, lymphoma, and sarcoma that develop in distant body areas and metastasize (spread) to the cervix.
An ovarian tumor is an illness in which cells of the ovaries become abnormal and divide without control or order. This health issue can lead to an increase in certain hormones, manifesting such as abdominal and backache. The illness usually affects ladies who are 50 years or older.
Ovarian malignancy is often very hard to treat once it has spread through the abdomen. Because of this, most cases are incurable. However, doctors will try to lessen manifestations and improve survival.
A victim suffering from ovarian malignancy can be offered a choice of different regimes for chemotherapy.
Treating Ovarian Cancer
The x rays of ovarian tumors can be inconclusive, and the manifestations of ovarian tumors mimic other conditions.
If ovarian malignancy is in the early stages, the woman can have surgery to remove it. This procedure is very effective in most cases, but there are some unique situations where this isn't possible.
This cancer treatment is known as "radical hysterectomy." A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, part of the vagina, and often the pelvic lymph nodes and ovaries.
The treatment for an ovarian tumor, which can include surgery and chemo, is not always effective.
HPV is a virus that can be transmitted from person to person through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. The test results for HPV have been used as evidence in many civil law cases where HPV has been linked to cervical malignancy.
Pre-cancers, which are members of conditions characterized by changes in cellular appearance, can result from human papillomavirus infection.
A woman can develop cervical cancer over time due to HPV. This virus is spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
A cancer patient undergoing chemo can choose from various cycles or routines.
A Research Findings on Papillomavirus Evaluation
According to a study published in cancer prevention research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, an HPV test can screen for cancer in women who have undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and cervix.
The Emergence of HPV Treatment Group Lawsuit
HPV treatment civil suits are quickly becoming the most common medical malpractice lawsuit, especially true in states that have passed laws allowing similarly affected victims to bond in a class-action case.
As of June 2, 2008, "at least 25 states had passed laws that permit some form of group lawsuits on the grounds of product liability," and even more states are considering similar legislation.
HPV Vaccination and Challenges
Doctors can detect cervical cancer through a pap smear, recommended for ladies between 21-65 of age if they have ever been sexually active. However, some studies have shown that a pap smear does not detect cervical cancer in its early stages as effectively as was previously thought.
This inaccuracy has led to several lawsuits being filed against the manufacturers of the HPV vaccine, claiming that it does not provide complete protection from the cervical tumor as was promised.
Whereas past lawsuit compensation does not necessarily indicate future results, our attorneys will fight to bring you the maximum compensation payout. Call (888) 424-5757 today for a free consultation and lawsuit evaluation.
Risk Factors for Developing Cervical Cancer
While older women have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer compared to teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age, all females between 19 and 100 are at risk.
There are specific risk factors involved in the development of cervical cancer that may or may contribute to developing the condition. These factors include:
- Multiple Sexual Partners: The chances of acquiring papillomavirus rise significantly if the woman has many sexual partners.
- Early Sexual Activity: Participating in sexual activity at an early age can significantly increase acquiring HPV.
- Multiple Births: Women who have experienced at least three full-term pregnancies are twice as likely to develop life-threatening cervical malignancy than those who have not had more than two full-term pregnancies.
- Acquiring Other STIs (sexually transmitted infections): Females who have acquired syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS are more likely to contract HPV.
- Smoking: Women who smoke increase their chances of developing squamous cell cervical cancer.
- Weakened Immune System: Females suffering from a weakened immune system caused by HPV or another health condition have an increased potential risk of developing cervical tumors compared to those with healthier immune systems.
- The Use of Birth Control Pills: Women who have used oral birth control medications for five years or longer have an increased potential likelihood of developing cervical malignancy. However, this risk diminishes within a few years after the medicine is no longer taken.
Out of the more than a hundred varieties of human papillomavirus, up to forty types can be sexually transmitted, and of those, fifteen varieties can cause cervical cancer.
Studies show that up to eight out of every ten females will eventually contract HPV at some stage in their life. While males can acquire HPV, there is currently no test to determine if they have it.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Many victims who suffer from a cervical tumor in the early stages never had any noticeable symptoms when the illness was in its earliest stages. Because of that, it is crucial to undergo routine screenings to identify unusual growth on the cervix quickly.
The illness can be monitored and effectively treated if found early, producing significantly better outcomes. In addition, gynecologists often recommend routine Pap smear screening because the test is highly effective and reliable at revealing normal cells.
The most common cervical cancer symptoms include:
- Vaginal Bleeding: Victims with early-stage and advanced-stage cervical cancer often bleed between periods, after engaging in sexual intercourse, or after going through menopause.
- Unusual Vaginal Discharge: A foul-smelling, pink, watery unusual discharge often accompanies a cervical tumor.
- Pelvic Pain: Many females with cervical cancer will experience severe pain in the pelvic region while participating in sexual intercourse or at any time.
Typical advanced age cervical cancer symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Bone fractures
- Leg swelling and pain
- Vaginal leakage of feces or urine
Many of the symptoms indicate advanced ages of cervical tumor after it has metastasized (spread) within the pelvis or to distant sites in the body, including the lymph nodes.
Diagnosing Cervical Cancer
An abnormal Pap test result reveals the first indicators that a female has developed cervical cancer. The doctor will typically recommend further testing to verify the condition when the illness is identified.
Initially, the doctor will obtain a complete personal medical history to determine if the woman experiences pain during intercourse or has had abnormal vaginal bleeding. The doctor will typically refer patients to gynecologic oncologists specializing in women's reproductive system cancers if the condition is diagnosed.
The doctor will complete a comprehensive physical examination to evaluate the woman's overall health and likely perform a pelvic exam and evaluate lymph nodes to look for evidence of the spread of cancer (metastasis).
As a Pap test is not a diagnostic test but a screening test, the doctor will likely need to perform additional testing, including cone biopsies, endocervical scraping, or a colposcopy to obtain a biopsy.
If the diagnosis reveals a precancerous condition, the physician will usually perform procedures to stop the progressive action of the cancer cells. Other diagnostic tools would include a:
- Chest x-ray
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- Intravenous urography
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan, and others
Treating Cervical Cancer
The treatment for cervical malignancy recommended by a gynecologic oncologist will depend on the stage of the illness. However, the doctor may choose a medical procedure, chemotherapy, or surgery.
Medical Procedures include:
- Radiation therapy
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure
- Cervical conization (cone biopsy)
Chemo can destroy abnormal cell growth that is multiplying too quickly. Common drugs used during cervical cancer chemo treatments include carboplatin and fluorouracil.
Surgical Options could include:
- Lymph node dissection
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
Procedures used to eradicate cancerous and precancerous cells in the cervix are performed by:
- A radiation oncologist
- OB/GYN doctors
- Gynecologic oncologists
- Primary care providers
After treatment, many women no longer experience the pains and manifestations of cervical cancer that include:
- Weight loss
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the pelvis and during sexual intercourse
The patient should pass bowel movements before undergoing a colonoscopy. Uterine fibroids are removed during fibroid surgery through incisions made in or near the uterus.
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The admission pro hac vice is the request of an out-of-state attorney to appear in a particular legal proceeding or lawsuit. The process is typical in all U.S. states, but specific rules vary from state to state.
Doctors Negligence in Failing to Detect Cervical Cancer on Time
Early medical care in cervical tumor cases can be vital to ensuring a favorable prognosis. When the appropriate medical attention is not given, it could result in lawsuits against negligent practitioners who fail to diagnose or treat a patient promptly.
If cancer spreads to distant organs or recurs, the patient may file a lawsuit against their physician for a preliminary diagnosis.
If doctors can timely diagnose cervical cancer, cervical cancer cases can be effectively treated and cured. Unfortunately, however, many people diagnosed with cervical cancer fall victim to their doctors' negligence.
Pap Smear Test
Pap smear testing, or "cervical screening," happens every 3 to 5 years for females from the ages of twenty-one to sixty and is necessary for cancer prevention.
A pap smear test can be used to detect pre-cancers. Although no definitive tests have been found for cervical cancer diagnosis, doctors often note cell changes during the pap smear process.
Cervical cancer can be detected through a pap smear, recommended for females aged 21-65 if they have ever been sexually active. Doctors can obtain a cancerous tissue sample with a pap smear test, and the patient will be tested for HPV.
- Sensitizing Women to Go for Smear Test: Females have little hope of surviving the disease without a pap smear test to guard against cervical cancer. However, many women are not getting this lifesaving test. Many state health departments are attempting to educate at-risk women about the importance of receiving pap tests.
- Cervical Smear Test Saves Lives: The medical practice use of pap smear tests has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of females over the past few decades. All it takes is a simple, inexpensive screening to detect cervical cancer early when it is most treatable.
- Pap Smear Test Results Misread: Tissue samples from thousands of females who had a Pap smear and were later diagnosed with cervical cancer may have been misread, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) study.
- An Abnormal Pap Smear: This procedure refers to a test performed in females in which a microscope looks at cells to detect cellular abnormalities that might indicate cervical cancer.
- Cost of Smear Tests in America: According to a study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the medical costs for pap smear testing for females in the United States were estimated at $1.6 billion in 2000.
- Shortcomings of Cervical Smear Tests: However, studies have shown that a pap smear does not detect cervical cancer in its early stages as effectively as was previously thought.
Testing inaccuracy has led to several lawsuits being filed against the manufacturers of the HPV vaccine, claiming that it does not provide complete protection from cervical cancer as was promised.
Cervical Cancer Lawsuits
If a cancer lawsuit goes to trial, it can be costly for both parties. The defendant might have to pay large sums of money in damages, and the plaintiff could face long-lasting health ramifications.
Should a cancer lawsuit go to trial, the plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant's product materially contributed to their getting cancer.
A victim diagnosed with ovarian malignancy can file a lawsuit to receive compensation for the injuries caused by negligent doctors. Similarly, a victim diagnosed with cancer can file a medical malpractice lawsuit to receive compensation for the injuries caused by negligent doctors.
A family member seeking medical care for a loved one may not know that the medical industry has become an area where lawsuits are now common. The medical field is so vast it's impossible to be 100% effective at all times.
In these lawsuits, the plaintiff or their family member seeks compensation through a civil court for damages incurred due to a negligent act by a medical professional.
An emergency room misdiagnosis of a cervical tumor can lead to a life-threatening condition. Such cases have led many women to file cervical cancer suits against negligent doctors and hospitals.
Medical practice is built upon trust between the doctor and patient, so legal recourse is often necessary when something goes wrong in that relationship.
Lung cancer lawsuits are more common, but cervical cancer patients and their families are gaining increasing attention. The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) reports that cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among females in developing nations.
Failure by Contraceptive Drug Companies to Disclose Inherent Danger
Steroid use for contraception is associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer.
Victims who were prescribed or took steroids for contraception are now filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of those contraceptives, stating that their reproductive cancers resulted from negligence in the testing and marketing of these drugs.
The American Cancer Society Lobbying for More Compensation
The American Cancer Society is pushing for a bill that will help increase the compensation people who have been affected by cancer can get from lawsuits.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Chicago, Illinois Can Assist You with Getting Legal Assistance If Your Doctor Fails to Diagnose Cancer
Cancer is a devastating disease that can impact anyone at any time. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, it is crucial to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
A cancer diagnosis can lead to many questions and concerns, including medical bills, insurance coverage, job security, and more. That's where a cancer attorney can help you understand your rights and options and fight for the best possible outcome in your lawsuit.
Don't go through this challenging time alone. Our medical malpractice lawyers will support you every step of the way and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation with one of our experienced cancer attorneys. We're here to help!
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