Uterine Fibroid Cancer Spread By Morcellation Has Devastating Impact
Over the past few months, the medical community has quickly come to realize the devastating consequences some women may face as a result of power morcellators used during uterine fibroid surgery, potentially causing the spread of cancer throughout the body and greatly diminishing their chances for long-term survival and quality of life.
Following FDA warnings in April, evidence has continued to emerge highlighting the risk of uterine fibroid cancer being spread by morcellation, leading many doctors and hospitals throughout the United States have announced that they will no longer use the devices.
In addition, one of the largest prior manufacturers of the devices, Ethicon, issued a power morcellator recall in July 2014, removing their devices from the market.
It appears increasingly clear that many women may have avoided these serious complications from uterine fibroid cancer if manufacturers had properly researched the effects of their surgical devices and provided adequate warnings to consumers and the medical community.
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are providing free consultations and claim evaluations to help women and families determine whether financial compensation may be available through a uterine fibroid morcellation lawsuits, following the spread of:
- Leiomyoscaroma (LMS)
- Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
- Other Uterine Cancer
Uterine Fibroid Problems
Most women in the United States will eventually develop uterine fibroids, which are growths in the uterus that typically appear during a woman’s childbearing years.
While they typically do not require treatment, if they become too large or painful, they may result in other complications and doctors ofter recommend either a hysterectomy or myomectomy to remove the fibroids.
The recent problems with uterine fibroid cancer are linked to the introduction of power morcellators by several different medical device manufacturers, which were promoted as a way to remove uterine fibroids through a minimally invasive surgery, such as a laparoscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy. The uterine fibroid morcellators allow doctors to cut up the tissue through a small port incision in the abdomen, reducing post-surgical recovery time and minimizing scarring.
About one out of every 350 women who require uterine fibroid removal have undiagnosed uterine fibroid cancer, known as sarcoma or leiomyosarcoma, which is contained within the uterus. Unfortunately, there is no way for doctors to reliable detect the cancer prior to surgery, and uterine fibroid morcellation may cause the spread of these cancerous cells throughout the body.
This may cause women with undiagnosed stage 1 uterine cancer to quickly have it upstaged to stage IV advanced cancer, reducing the chances for successful treatment and greatly impacting their overall quality of life.
Cancer Following Uterine Fibroid Surgery May Have Been Avoided
These uterine fibroid cancer problems may have been avoided if another treatment alternative had been used, such as a traditional surgical hyesterectomy performed vaginally or abdominally, catheter-based blocking of the uterine artery, high-intensity focused ultrasound, drug therapy or a laparoscopic hysterectomy without the use of morcellation.
This may have allowed doctors to detect the cancer while it was still contained within the uterus, providing better long-term outcomes than are available after the uterine fibroid cancer has been spread throughout the body and upstaged.
The two cancers most frequently associated with uterine fibroid morcellation are endometrial stromal sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma.
Uterine sarcoma comes in a variety of grades based on their malignancy. Low grade sarcomas can usually be treated through surgery, but as the grade gets higher and the cancer is more malignant, doctors may have to resort to radiation therapy or chemotherapy. If caught in the early stages, long term survival of sarcoma is 60-70%.
Leiomyosarcoma is rarer and far more dangerous. However, the 5-year survival rate for women with leiomyosarcoma at its earliest stages, when it is just confined to the uterus, is still 50%. Once it has been upstaged, the survival rate drops to 20% and continues dropping as the cancer advances in stages. That also often results in the need for harsh chemotherapy, radiation therapy and medications to attempt to stave off the ravages of the aggressive cancer.
Uterine Fibroid Morcellation Cancer Lawsuits
Women who have been diagnosed with the spread of leiomyoscaroma, endometrial stromal sarcoma or other uterine cancer following uterine fibroid surgery may be entitled to financial compensation if a power morcellator was used.
The uterine fibroid morcellation lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing claims for women nationwide, as well as potential wrongful death lawsuits for families of individuals who died as a result of the uterine fibroid cancer. All cases are handled by our attorneys under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.
If you, a loved one, friend or family member has been diagnosed with uterine cancer following fibroid removal surgery where a power morcellator may have been used, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.