The other day (July 25th), I received an email from Judy, the Outreach Coordinator for the American Recall Center. In her email, she shared that since the month of July was National Sarcoma Awareness month, she was asking me to help raise awareness on “some new and possibly dangerous developments in the women’s health community.”
Here’s what she wrote:
“Power Morcellators, a device commonly used in hysterectomies (the 2nd most common procedure on women in the US), have recently come under scrutiny by the FDA. Power Morcellators are used to cut tissue into small pieces to be removed from the body. The problem occurs when the targeted tissues carry undetected cancer (sarcoma), the cancer is then spread within the abdomen and pelvis. Many women are battling uterine cancer as a result of Power Morcellators being used during their hysterectomies, and shockingly, the average life span following accidental morecellation of sarcoma is 24 to 36 months.”
Well, her email caught my eye. In fact, it sits like a dark, heavy cloud over my head since I read it.
I responded to her and told her I would try to get the word out by the end of the July for National Sarcoma Awareness month. Well, it’s August 3rd and I missed the deadline for National Sarcoma Awareness month.
On August 1st, Judy wrote me again and asked if I needed anything else from her to do the post. I emailed her back with a lame excuse that I needed more time to do a post, that 7 days before the end of the month wasn’t enough time for me because I work ahead and have a “schedule.”
But, here’s the thing: as I said above, my response to her was just a lame excuse. I’m actually scared to death. I had a full hysterectomy 4 years ago (see Confessions of the Incredible Shrinking Woman) and I have no idea if my surgeon removed my female parts using the Power Morcellator procedure. I have 4 small incision sites, which resulted in a shorter recovery, less pain and only a small complication. The good news is that my surgery was four years ago and I’m still here.
And, I’m scared to call my doctor and ask. So, because I’m scared, I dug my head in the sand, did nothing and let the deadline pass for National Sarcoma Awareness month.
So, today, Sunday, I’m taking my head out of the sand and sharing with all of you. Please share this post on social media and help spread the word. Judy shared frightening statistics and I quote from her email:
“What is a Power Morcellator? A device used in hysterectomies to cut tissue into small pieces to be removed from the body. However, uterine cancers sometimes go undetected prior to the procedure. In these cases, the morcellator dices up and spreads unsuspected cancer inside the woman’s body.”
Judy shared these statistics:
- Hysterectomy is the 2nd most common surgery among women in the United States
- By age 70, one out of three American women will have had a hysterectomy
- 90% of these surgeries are done to remove Fibroids (non-cancerous tumors found in the uterus)
- The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months
- Only 15% of women who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years
- Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated
Judy provided links to more information (Power Morcellator page) and asked that I share Terri’s story, too. Please note that the American Recall Center website is sponsored by Weitz and Luxenberg, P.C., a law firm focusing on providing legal services to clients injured by negligent corporations and/or entities.
Thank you, Judy. I’m calling my doctor tomorrow.
Until Next Time,