Traditional medicine has routinely rcommended removal of the uterus, hysterectomy, for uterine and ovarian malignancy, however physicians also advocate hysterectomy for benign diseases like fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis. Recent studies (LA Times article, published August 10, 2009 entitled “Staying Fertile after Cancer”) on Stage 1 ovarian cancer patients have found that preserving the uterus and unaffected ovary have the same 5 year survival rates as removing all organs. If medicine is changing to reduce hysterectomies for certain cancers, lets hope they will eventually see the need to prevent hysterectomy for benign diseases as well.
Archives for August 2009
Young women might be able to preserve their fertility despite a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Recent studies, based on a publication this month in Cancer, have found that 5 year survival rates are the same for both patients that remove all female organs (both ovaries and uterus) and those that only removed the affected ovary. This is strictly for early diagnosed Stage 1 (one) malignancies in premenopausal women . This is great news for women hoping to preserve their female organs. Regardless of fertility desires, prematurely removing the uterus and ovaries can thrust women into early menopause. This can expose the woman to all the negative side effects of early castration: hot flashes, dry vagina, osteoporosis, heart disease and early death and dementia. Ask your doctor is you can be a candidate to preserve your female organs.
Many of our patients try supplements and herbal formulas prior to seeking a medical consultation. Although these therapies can help reduce symptoms temporarily, they will become ineffective over time as the disease spreads. Supplements and herbal formulas are not regulated by the FDA and therefore quality, strength and dosage cannot be guaranteed. Delaying appropriate treatment can sometimes be detrimental. Fibroid tumors, adenomyosis and endometriosis all require surgery is remove the disease…treating symptoms does nothing to treat the condition or the tumors. Using these alternative therapies, after surgery , may be helpful in preventing recurrence, but should not be the only source of treatment. Consult your physician and do some research about what is the best course of treatment for your disease.