Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Solicitors

Cervical Cancer is a cruel disease that impacts hundreds of women and their families in Ireland every year.

Unfortunately, cases of Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis are not uncommon in Ireland.  When Cervical Cancer is misdiagnosed it can be life altering for the patient and their family. It can also result in a requirement for painful and intense treatments that could have been avoided, and in the worst cases, the avoidable passing of the patient.

Cancer advances in stages of severity from 1 – 4 and the required treatment increases with each stage. If a patient’s Cervical Cancer is missed, or the stage incorrectly reported, it can result in the wrong recommendation for treatment and monitoring.  It can also result in a missed opportunity to treat the cancer, or even pre cancer, at a stage which requires minimal intervention. This can cause unnecessary suffering, pain and side effects for the patient.


Early-stage treatment can include:

  • Removal of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells using a LLETZ procedure.
  • Radiotherapy.
  • Brachytherapy.
  • Cone Biopsy.


In the more advanced stages of Cervical Cancer, treatment can include:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation.
  • Cervix removal.
  • Full or partial removal of the womb.


If you received a Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis, you may be in a position to make a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim.

In this piece, we answer the most frequently asked questions about making a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim in Ireland.


To speak to one of our experienced Medical Claim Solicitors, contact us confidentially at 021 427 5673 or email us at info@cantillons.com.

cervical cancer misdiagnosis claims ireland

What is a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?


A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim are a type of Medical Negligence Claim.

A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim is a legal claim brought by a patient (or the loved ones of a deceased patient) against the doctor, hospital, the HSE, laboratory and/or medical practice responsible for the misdiagnosis. Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims seeks financial compensation for the patient and/or their family and sometimes an apology.

Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims are brought when a patient believes that their care was handled negligently and independent expert reports support such a claim. For example, a Doctor, Pathologist or Cytoscreener misreading/misreporting a smear test. It is also possible for a patient to be incorrectly told that they have Cervical Cancer and, on foot of that incorrect advice, to undergo surgery, unnecessarily.


Common Causes of Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis

The earlier Cervical Cancer, or ideally pre cancerous cells, is caught and treated, the higher the chances of survival for the patient.

Some of the most frequent causes of Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis in Ireland, include:


  1. Smear Test Errors

Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis can occur when a patient’s smear test results are misinterpreted. Smear tests are not designed to detect Cervical Cancer but to help prevent it by detecting changes to cells. When abnormal cells are detected a patient should be sent for further tests. When a smear test result is incorrectly reported, Cervical Cancer can go undiagnosed for longer.

Unfortunately in Ireland, there have been many cases of women developing Cervical Cancer after receiving a misdiagnosis. In 2018, the HSE confirmed that 222 women had developed the disease after being told their smear tests were clear, when they were not. In fact, the number is greater than that admitted by the HSE.

It should be noted that the method of cervical screening changed in Ireland in March 2020 to a new method of screening, namely HPV screening and it is thought to be more effective at preventing cancer than the previous method (which lead to so many misdiagnoses).  The test looks to see if a patient has any of the high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that may cause cervical cancer in the first instance.


  1. Mistaken Symptoms

 There have been cases when the symptoms of Cervical Cancer have been mistaken for other illnesses. Symptoms of Cervical Cancer include abdominal pain, irregular vaginal bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge and lower back pain. Illnesses with similar symptoms include UTIs and uterine fibroids.


  1. Inadequate Examination or Consultation

Failure by Doctors to perform a proper and full examination can lead to Cervical Cancer being missed.

Similarly, a patient’s medical history should be properly checked and recorded to measure the risk level of them developing cancer.

Failure to perform the examination or history check can both lead to misdiagnosis and be classed as Medical Negligence.


Who Can Make a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim?

If you believe that you have received a Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may be able to bring a claim.  An alternative route, if you prefer, is to make a claim through the Cervical Check Tribunal. Your Solicitor will advise you on the merits of each option and represent or assist you at the Tribunal if required.

If you are a family member (e.g. child, parent or partner) of the patient it is also possible to make a claim where the patient has sadly passed or is incapacitated. Family members who are impacted psychologically and/or their marital relationship changed as a consequence of the misdiagnoses to may also be able to make a claim.


How do you make a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?

If you believe you could have a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim, it is important to contact an experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor.  A Solicitor who is experienced in similar Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis cases is best placed to advise you. Navigating the required steps of a misdiagnosis claim is much easier with someone who understands the process.

In order to bring a case for Cervical Cancer misdiagnosis you must have an independent expert report stating that negligence occurred.  To establish this, your Solicitor will require as much detail as possible from you.

The first meeting with your Solicitor, for any type of claim, is to establish the facts surrounding the claim. This includes details of:

  • Symptoms and medical history.
  • Details of any treatment.
  • Appointments with GP, Nurse, Consultant, Hospital etc.
  • Copies of any relevant letters, emails, prescriptions.
  • Notes of any other related communications, such as phone calls with Doctors.

A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim Solicitor will also ask for your permission to access your medical records. With this permission they will request all related records to help build your case. These will be shared with a trusted and professional independent medical expert who will confirm if there was any negligence or not.

Following the establishment of any areas of negligence, a letter of claim will be sent. This letter is sent to the doctor, clinic, hospital, HSE and any other party who may be responsible.

At Cantillons Solicitors, our Medical Negligence Solicitors will handle your case with the sensitivity and discretion required. We understand the personal nature of these cases and aim to support and guide you through the process.


Time limits for Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim

In Ireland, the Statute of Limitations dictates the time in which a Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim can be made.

The time limit is two years from the day of the wrong which caused the injury. There are some exceptions to this, including if you did not know a wrong had been committed until a later date (the date of knowledge), then the time limit will run from the date you discovered this wrong. Further, if you did not initially know you suffered an injury, then the time will only start from the date you became aware of the injury.  There are also certain exceptions to this rule for people who are under the age of 18 or who are under a disability. To get more information on this, you should contact a Solicitor.

If you wish to investigate a claim, it is best that you start the process as soon as possible.

Given the extent of details that must be established before a claim can be made, two years is relatively short.


What To Do If You or A Loved One Has Received A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis

If you believe that a negligent misdiagnosis of your Cervical Cancer has occurred, contact Cantillons Solicitors at Cork +353 (0)21 4275673 or Dublin +353 (0)1 264 1802 Alternatively, send a confidential email to info@cantillons.com to talk to our team of Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim Solicitors.

We are always happy to accommodate you at a time and place that best suits your needs.

We have Solicitors based in various locations, including Cork, Limerick and Dublin. We can arrange a meeting at a location that is suitable to you.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team outside of office hours then please contact us. We are happy to accommodate a virtual consultation, via Zoom or otherwise also.


* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Medical Negligence Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Medical Negligence Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

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How can we help?

We are always happy to accommodate you at a time and place that best suits your needs.

We have Solicitors based in various locations, including Cork, Limerick and Dublin. We can arrange a meeting at a location that is suitable to you.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team outside of office hours then please contact us using the form below. We are happy to accommodate a virtual consultation, via Zoom or otherwise also.

If you have a query send us a message…

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