Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis: A Costly, Deadly Mistake
Louise Gleadell, a 38-year-old mother of three from Leicester, United Kingdom, was pregnant with her son Jude in late 2015 when she first presented with serious health concerns that were repeatedly dismissed by her doctors. She had a “strange dizziness” and an aching pelvis, which became persistent and gradually more painful. At one point, she thought her water had broken due to an expulsion of clear fluid (a symptom of cervical cancer), but doctors assured her that she was just tired and suffering pain from breastfeeding. After blood tests were taken, doctors told her that the only problem was marginally low levels of calcium, and she was given medication for her dizziness. However, her symptoms worsened and she eventually went for a private scan after she was dismissed by doctors following several examinations of her cervix.
When she went for the private scan in early 2016, she was informed that she had grade 2b cervical cancer and was told that she would need radiotherapy and chemotherapy to fight the cancer. In July 2016, doctors believed they had cured her cancer after months of strenuous treatment. However, while waiting for the results of the treatment, Louise noticed a lump on her neck, which scans and blood tests revealed was a tumor that had spread from the original cancer. She was told that the cancer was incurable and was subsequently denied chemotherapy after suffering a life-threatening bleed, as the treatment puts a patient at an increased risk of hemorrhaging.
As a result, Louise Gleadell was forced to spend £70,000 every three weeks on cancer treatment in Germany to stay alive; she was told that she did not qualify for an immunotherapy trial available through the NHS because she didn’t have “enough” cancer. After spending more than £200,000, including her life savings, on extending her life, Louise died in March of 2018.
Louise’s tragic case of misdiagnosis exemplifies the need for an in-depth, multi-disciplinary review of a serious or complex medical condition or suspected condition. With any cancer diagnosis, a team-based medical second opinion (MSO) from one of the top-ranked, leading academic research hospitals will confirm or modify the diagnosis in order to provide accuracy and also allow for recommended optimal treatment plans going forward. A multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to medical second opinions by medical specialists and sub-specialists at the best hospitals in the U.S. is precisely the reason that WorldCare’s MSO service has been trusted for over 25 years.
WorldCare’s MSO service takes an in-depth look at all aspects of a member’s medical condition, which involves collection of all medical records and diagnostic material, including re-reading any and all radiology and pathology, a feature that is unique to WorldCare and its MSO process. An average of four specialists from one of the hospitals of The WorldCare Consortium® opine on a member’s case, ensuring accurate diagnosis by confirming or modifying the original diagnosis and providing treatment plan recommendations based on the latest available scientific research.
30% of the total cases reviewed by WorldCare have been oncology cases, with a change in diagnosis occurring in 26 percent of all cases reviewed and a change in treatment plans occurs in 75 percent of all cases. The WorldCare MSO service gives members peace-of-mind that their healthcare is accurate, efficacious and based on the latest medical research in the world.
WorldCare’s MSO service makes a world of difference to our members, improving health outcomes and controlling healthcare costs around the world. If you are a member and would like to request service or if you are an employer, insurer, broker or TPA interested in offering our services, please contact us today.