A 27-year-old mum who was left infertile after doctors ignored signs she was suffering from cervical cancer for 17 months has been awarded a six-figure payout.
Tayne Eaton was 22 when she went to her GP in 2010 after developing symptoms of the disease – but was told she was too young for a smear test.
She went back on several occasions complaining of bleeding between periods and abdominal pain and her symptoms worsened after she gave birth to her son, Reggie-Lee, in September 2014.
After eventually being admitted to hospital with significant blood loss doctors found she had a nine-centimetre tumour and diagnosed her with cervical cancer in March 2015.
The NHS have since admitted liability for her suffering and infertility after admitting they ‘should have’ carried out a physical examination and failed to follow national guidelines by not referring her for a review by a gynaecologist.
They also accepted that had she had an earlier referral, Tayne “would have been offered less invasive treatment which could have spared her fertility.”
Tayne, who now works for EBA Boxing, said: “I still couldn’t understand how my cancer was missed because I had been going to the doctors so many times.
“At the time I wasn’t really in the age range where women are more at risk of contracting the disease.
“Any symptoms of the disease should not be dismissed.
“While I still feel anger at the level of care I received I also have to remind myself the outcome could have been worse.
“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.
“For some women, delays in their diagnosis could put their life at risk, not just be life-changing”.
To prevent the cancer spreading, Tayne underwent chemotherapy, a hysterectomy and several other operations and procedures.
Despite still undergoing treatment, Tayne was determined to make the best of things by marrying her husband Lee in October 2015, with Reggie-Lee as their pageboy.
Tayne, from Ipswich, Suffolk, said: “Both Lee and I were stunned when I was finally told the news that I had cancer.
“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.”
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.”
The national routine check-up for females to attend their first annual screening is 25-years-old.
All women who are registered with a GP are invited to the doctors for a smear test every three years.
Although the condition is very rare in women under 25, it is possible for females of all ages to develop cervical cancer.
The typical symptoms to look out for are abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, unusual vaginal discharge, lower back pain and discomfort or pain during sex.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned about any new symptom, it is important that you make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible.
Guy Forster, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Delays 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.”