Hysterectomy Risks Spread Of Undetected Uterine Cancers, Study


Hysterectomy procedure risks the spreading of undetected uterine cancers, according to a new study by the Columbia University Medical Center.

Hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus through small incisions. Morcellation - in which the uterus is fragmented into smaller pieces - is the common method used for uterus removal.

In April, federal regulators urged physicians to stop using power morcellators during hysterectomies due to its potential risk of spreading undetected malignancies. Colleen Daley's sister Patricia lost her life to leiomyosarcoma that spread after she underwent morcellation treatment.

"Would you permit your wife or sister to undergo a procedure that has a one in 351 chance of spreading cancer throughout the body?" Daley asked, Drug Watch reports.

The Columbian study further supports the regulator's claims.

"Although morcellators have been in use since 1993, few studies have described the prevalence of unexpected pathology at the time of hysterectomy. Prevalence information is the first step in determining the risk of spreading cancer with morcellation," the authors wrote in a statement. "Patients considering morcellation should be adequately counseled about the prevalence of cancerous and precancerous conditions prior to undergoing the procedure."

In order to determine the presence of underlying cancer in women, researchers examined a database of over 500 hospitals.

The researchers found that among 232,882 women, who endured the procedure of invasive hysterectomy from 2006 to 2012, morcellation was performed in nearly 15.7 percent of them. Among the women who underwent morcellation, researchers identified 99 cases of uterine cancer or one in 27 per 10,000 women at the time of the procedure.

The finding is published in JAMA-Journal of the American Medical Association.

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