Cervical Cancer in the U.S.
As it turns out, cervical cancer is one of the most treatable as well as preventable forms of cancer among women. This cancer forms itself in the tissue within the woman’s cervix. It grows at a slow pace and does not show many if any symptoms within its victims. It occurs mostly in women between the age of 30 and 55. HPV strains are said to be the culprit of 95% of cervical cancer cases. Why is it then that the rate of occurrence and death form this illness remain very high? Estimates from 2009 by the National Cancer Institute reported that in 2009 11,270 women will be diagnosed with new cases of cervical cancer. The reasons for this range from women not availing themselves to proper annual testing for this cancer. Another is that some of the gynecological exams, as well as pap smears, are too often misread or performed incorrectly by physicians. This alone would constitute medical negligence by the health care practitioner, and a patient would have the right to being compensated. This kind of medical malpractice can be very deadly because if a pap smear is misinterpreted, the cancer will grow slowly over time and become invasive. That being said, women should be aware that a pap smear is their best line of defense for catching this cancer in its early stages, and a second pap smear could ensure it was read correctly. A particularly alarming statistics by the American Medical Association noted that 15% to 30% of all clean diagnosed pap smears turned out to actually be cancerous or contain cancer-like cells. It is very unfortunate that because of this medical error it is now one of the leading causes of death and disability for women that have invasive cancer despite regular pap smears and gynecological tests.