Male GPs must put women at ease over cervical tests says family

first_imgThe court heard that he felt she was “fobbed off” when she raised her worrying symptoms.  The hearing continues. It was not until late June 2010 that Ms Hague had an ultrasound examination and, after being diagnosed, she underwent a hysterectomy, chemo-radiotherapy and emergency surgery from which she never recovered. The family’s counsel, Adam Korn, told Mr Justice Lewis that it was alleged that the GPs wrongly and negligently failed to take seriously enough Ms Hague’s complaints and make an onward referral for specialist diagnosis and treatment.”Such referral would have led to early surgery and, on the balance of probabilities, it would have led to Sophie being cured of her disease.” Credit:PA Credit:PA  The family of a 25-year-old woman who died from cervical cancer has said male GPs need to realise young women are reluctant to discuss their symptoms because of “fear and embarrassment”.Sophie Hague died at home in Surbiton, Surrey, in November 2011, two years after she first visited her GP with symptoms.Her mother Suzanne and fiance, David Rich, have taken legal action over whether she could have been saved.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Sophie Hague Many GPs – especially male ones – need to have a greater understanding that young women may be reluctant to discuss their symptoms because of fear and embarrassmentSuzanne Hague Speaking ahead of the three-day hearing at the High Court, her mother said: “We hope the trial will help us understand whether Sophie’s death could have been avoided and help raise awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer. “Many GPs – especially male ones – need to have a greater understanding that young women may be reluctant to discuss their symptoms because of fear and embarrassment, but it is their job to overcome this in whatever way possible, suggesting a nurse or female GP if necessary, and ensuring that physical examination and/or referral is carried out whenever red flag symptoms are suspected.”Ms Hague visited Langley Medical Practice with symptoms in November 2009 and February 2010 – but was not physically examined on either occasion. Mr Korn said both doctors had admitted breach of duty and it was accepted that Ms Hague should have had a pelvic examination.But, there was a dispute between experts for both sides as to legal causation, with the defence contending that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have made no difference to the outcome.The defence case was that the tumour was so aggressive that Ms Hague would have died whenever surgery was performed.While the family’s experts did not dispute that the tumour was highly aggressive, they maintained that, if caught early enough, the prognosis was positive. Mr Korn said that the sole issue for the judge was whether or not, on the balance of probabilities, Ms Hague would have lived if the GPs had treated her appropriately and she had gone to surgery earlier.  Sophie Haguelast_img

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