A 60-year-old woman who is seriously ill with cervical cancer has begun a High Court action over the alleged misinterpretation of her smear tests under the CervicalCheck screening programme.

The woman who has cervical and lung cancer, has brought her case against the HSE and US laboratory, Quest Diagnostics.

She claims there was a failure to diagnose her cervical cancer in a timely manner and that it was allowed to go undetected and untreated until September 2016.

The woman, who is widowed, with two children, claims she was denied the opportunity for earlier, less invasive treatment which would have stopped the development of her cancer.

She claims the results of smear tests taken in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014 were wrongly reported.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross listed the case for hearing in October but suggested that the parties consider mediation.

The woman was diagnosed in September 2016 after suffering from pain in her lower back. The chance of a long-term cure is very unlikely the court heard and the outlook for her is "guarded".

Her lawyers asked the High Court for an expedited hearing in July. Lawyers for Quest Diagnostics said it was not possible to be ready for such an early hearing due to the complexity of the case. 

Mr Justice Cross said he had to balance the woman's right to have her case heard in her lifetime with the fact he did not believe there was time for the defendants to be ready. 

He suggested mediation should be tried.