14/08/2014 16:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Grandmother Died Of Cervical Cancer After GP Repeatedly Dismissed Symptoms As Menopause

Grandmother died of cervical cancer after GP repeatedly dismissed symptoms as menopause

A grandmother-of-three died from cervical cancer after her GP repeatedly dismissed her symptoms as the menopause and prescribed HRT.

In February 2008, Cheryl Humpage, 55, went to her doctor complaining of nausea, unusual bleeding and fever.

Her GP, Dr Martin Crowther, of St Peter's Surgery in Walsall, West Midlands, dismissed her symptoms as the menopause and she was prescribed HRT.

But her symptoms didn't go away and despite being examined by Dr Crowther a further three times, she was not diagnosed with cancer until a year later.

In March 2009, doctors finally diagnosed her with cancer after she was referred to a specialist at Walsall Manor Hospital but tumours had spread and it was too late to save her. Cheryl died four months later.

Cheryl's devastated husband Peter, 56, has now received a five-figure compensation pay-out from the GP's insurers after suing Dr Crowther for medical negligence.

Peter said: "Cheryl was very concerned about her symptoms but she thought she was in safe hands.

"She was a great mum and grandmother and very family orientated, we're all absolutely heartbroken that she's no longer with us.

"It's very hard not to be angry about what happened. Cheryl should not have had to suffer like she did and if the cancer had been diagnosed earlier we believe we could have had longer with her.

"We just hope that what happened to Cheryl acts as a reminder to all of us about the importance of a quick diagnosis of cervical cancer.

"It is however still difficult to come to terms with our loss because we have never had any sort of apology or admission of responsibility to help us draw a line under everything that happened.

"Until then, I'm not sure that we can ever truly move forward."

Dr Crowther has apologised for failing to detect Cheryl's cancer.

He said: "I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere sympathy to Mrs Humpage's family for their loss.

"I am sorry for the delay in making a diagnosis. I have reflected extensively on the episode and discussed it with colleagues and I have learned from this process, now being more aware of the danger in similar situations."

Lindsay Tomlinson, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who represented the family, said: "During out investigations an independent medical expert found that Cheryl's GP should have recognised her symptoms as typical of those experienced by cervical cancer sufferers.

"And yet no pelvic examination was made, she was not referred to a gynaecologist and no advice was given advising her to return for further medical attention should the bleeding continue.

"Had she been referred earlier she would have avoided such a long period of pain and suffering without a diagnosis and our expert was of the opinion that on balance she would have lived for longer and had more time with her family."