Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

19 Year Old Dies From Cervical Cancer – Could She Have Been Saved?

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 20/03/2014

In 2003, the law in England changed to only allow women over the age of 25 to be invited for a cervical smear test. Previously it was women over 20, which is still the case in Wales.

Smear Tests Only for Over 25's

Although a cervical smear is not a test for cancer as most people assume, it can detect abnormal cells. Around 1 in 10 women who receive a test will show some abnormal cell but more often than not, the results are normal. Due to the 25-year age limit, another young girl has lost her life in the battle against cervical cancer.

Cancer - Medical Negligence claims

A 19 year old girl has died from cervical cancer after she was refused a test for being 'too young' to develop cervical cancer.

Doctor's put her severe stomach pains down to Crohn's disease – an inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. She had asked for a cervical smear but she was turned down according to her family, who want the age limit for cervical smears to be lowered to prevent others going through the same ordeal.

A review was held 5 years ago after the tragic death of Jade Goody to lower the age to 20.

Cervical Cancer Sometimes Missed

According to Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK there has only been "around 25" young women in their teens that have been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Despite this, the family of Sophie Jones are calling for the option of being tested when they know something is wrong rather than being turned away.

Despite pressure after the death of Jade Goody, the Government stood firm on their decision not to lower the age, stating that false positive results may lead to "unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment".

Cervical cancer can be missed, misdiagnosed or not treated in an appropriate way in many instances. Your GP may fail to record irregular bleeding or may not explore the source of the bleeding. Both are symptoms of cervical cancer.

Results can also be misinterpreted as other things like PMS or ovulation pains causing delays in treatment.

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