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Smear Tests Save Lives

By James Pink, a medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell

I was interested to read about Laura McAdam who had no symptoms of cancer but a routine smear test saved her life. 

The article really does raise the importance of regular cervical screening which can really saves lives. It gives a startling and upsetting statistic that cervical cancer kills two women every day in the UK.

Importance of regular testing

The article also talks about failures in the smear testing programme where people who are entitled for screening have been wrongly excluded from the programme. One person in particular in Scotland, who was missed from the programme,  was suspected to have died from cervical cancer.  This raises the importance of ensuring you are being screened regularly if you believe you should be. 

From my experience as a medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, I have worked on cases where there were missed opportunities to diagnosis cervical cancer at an earlier stage as a result of missed smears. 

I have also sadly worked on cases where smear tests have been undertaken but were incorrectly reported as being normal when there were in fact abnormal cells present. Patients have then years later received the devastating diagnosis that they have late stage cervical cancer. 

Screening is essential in saving lives

Cervical screening remains the most effective way for early detection of cervical cancer. Regular cervical screening is an essential tool to save lives. I would encourage every woman eligible for screening to attend their smears tests and if they have any concern about whether they should or should not have smear tests, to speak with their GP. 

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and their families following a cervical cancer diagnosis at our dedicated cancer claims section.

"I had no symptoms whatsoever before that, so I know first-hand how important it is to attend screenings, even if nothing seems wrong."”