Family Joins Legal Team At Irwin Mitchell To Support Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
A mum is campaigning to raise awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer after doctors failed to diagnose she had the disease - despite displaying symptoms for 17 months.
Tayne Eaton, who was too young for a smear test when she started developing signs of the disease, is speaking out during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in a bid to raise awareness of symptoms among younger women.
It comes after the mum-of-one visited her GP Surgery on several occasions complaining of bleeding between her periods as well as abdominal pain. At the time she started developing symptoms she was 22 – three years before women are routinely invited for a smear test.
Tayne, of Ipswich, was finally diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2015 after taking herself to hospital following significant blood loss. Doctors found a nine centimetre tumour.
Following her diagnosis the 27-year-old instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the level of care she received at the hands of GPs.
Independent expert evidence obtained by Irwin Mitchell confirmed that the GPs should have carried out a physical examination and that they failed to adhere to national guidelines by not referring her for a review by a gynaecologist. Further, and devastatingly for Tayne, had an earlier referral been made then she would have been offered less invasive treatment which could have spared her fertility.
She has now received a six-figure settlement.
Tayne and her husband Lee, 29, are now using Cervical Cancer Prevention Week to support their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in urging young women to be aware of the signs of the disease.
Expert OpinionDelays in diagnosing cervical cancer can have devastating effects for the women involved and their families.
“Experts have confirmed the care that Tayne received fell way below expected standards. For doctors to not consider the possibility that she may have cervical cancer with the symptoms she was reporting was unacceptable because the signs were clear.
“While nothing can make up for the poor level of care Tayne received and the anger and upset her family have had to go through since her diagnosis, we are pleased that Tayne can now put her legal case behind her, continue her recovery and plan for the future with her family.
“It is important that there is not a loss of confidence in the health service amongst women who may have some of the symptoms of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a treatable disease with a good long term prognosis when it is diagnosed early. This is why it is so important that women attend for regular smears and be aware of the symptoms.
“We join Tayne in encouraging any women who may think they have the symptoms of cervical cancer to seek medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity.” Guy Forster - Partner
Tayne first started to suffer constant bleeding in the summer of 2013, and over the following months, visited her GP surgery a number of times complaining of bleeding and abdominal pain. Her symptoms worsened after she gave birth to the couple’s son, Reggie-Lee, in September 2014.
She was finally diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2015 after attending hospital.
Tayne, who now works for EBA Boxing, underwent chemotherapy, a hysterectomy and several other operations and procedures to prevent the cancer spreading.
Despite her illness, Tayne and Lee were determined to continue with their lives and make the best of things for their young son, Reggie-Lee. The couple got married in October 2015 with Reggie-Lee as their pageboy. Tayne was still undergoing treatment at this time but was determined not to delay the wedding.
Tayne said: “Both Lee and I were stunned when I was finally told the news that I had cancer. At the time I wasn’t really in the age range where women are more at risk of contracting the disease but I still couldn’t understand how my cancer was missed because I had been going to the doctors so many times.
“We really struggled to come to terms with my diagnosis and worried about what the future may hold. But after the initial shock started to sink in I was determined to beat my cancer and our wedding gave us something to focus on.
“Because of everything we went through it made our wedding even more special. To be surrounded by our family and friends and for Reggie-Lee to be there is something we will never forget.”
Tayne added: “While I still feel anger at the level of care I received I also have to remind myself the outcome could have been worse. For some women, delays in their diagnosis could put their life at risk, not just be life-changing.
“Any symptoms of the disease should not be dismissed. It is vital that women know the symptoms they need to look out for and take medical advice straight away. Doctors also need to ensure that they conduct thorough consultations and take patients’ concerns seriously.”
Lee added: “We are pleased that Tayne has recovered so well and that we can put this behind us. We are now looking to the future and creating family memories we will cherish.”
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs between 22-28 January. Organised by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, this year’s theme is ‘Reduce Your Risk’:
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling medical negligence cases.