We recently had a patient in the office who was diagnosed and treated 10 years ago for fibroid tumors and endometriosis. She had experienced early menopausal symptoms of hot flashes and mood swings. At that time her naturopath recommended a bio-identical estrogen supplement. She was told that hormone therapy would NOT have an effect on any possible remaining fibroids. Sadly, this is not true. She now has a 7cm fibroid producing serious low back pain. IF you have any female disorder that requires estrogen to proliferate: fibroids, endometriosis, or adenomyosis, you run the risk of recurrent disease once you begin hormone supplementation.
As we approach the end of this decade, I am sad to report we are still performing almost 700,000 hysterectomies annually; 500,000 are for non-cancerous diseases like Fibroid Tumors, Endometriosis, and Adenomyosis. Many side effects associated with hysterectomy are irreversible and/or negative like: bladder incontinence, constipation, hormone imbalance and sexual dysfunction-no desire or feeling, as well as emotional and psychological damage. If you are interested in a holistic medical approach and want to keep your organs, please do your research. Our practice as been offering women a laser surgical holistic alternative to hysterectomy for over 15 years. Do not agree to a surgery unless you know it is right for you…..
Endometriomas are pelvic masses or cysts that arise from the ovary. They are often blood filled and have a thick dark chocolate consistency, hence their name “chocolate cyst.” They are made up of abberent endometrial cells that bleed during the monthly cycle, as a result of hormone changes. These cysts are often seen in conjunction with surrounding endometriosis. If left untreated they can become quite large and engulf or overtake the ovary. Symptoms include pelvic pain, and painful periods. Surgery for removal is the treatment of choice.
Many physicians currently advocate hysterectomy as the best form of treatment for
endometriosis. I disagree. Once endometrial cells have implanted within the pelvis,
removing the uterus has no effect on the current condition. Implants need to be destroyed to reduce pain and
cramping…..as long as the patient still has her ovaries, monthly flow of estrogen will fuel
the spread of the existing pelvic implants. Diagnosing and some treatment can be performed via a minimally invasive laparoscope that puts a camera in the abdomen near the belly button. This technique can be effective for treating early stages of Endo. Unfortunately, my practice often sees women with much more severe and advanced cases and the scope has too limited a field of view. An open surgery allows the entire abdomen and pelvis to be examined with laser treatment of all areas, not just those limited with the scope. The best course of treatment in advanced stages is an open surgery, not laparoscopy, with aggressive laser therapy.
Just recently in the LA Times there was an article on the “silent killer” Ovarian Cancer, I thought I would comment on that topic today. Although my practice is limited to treating Benign disease only, many of the same symptoms can be seen in both malignant and non-malignant conditions.
All women should be concerned about Ovarian Cancer, but note that it is not common. Your risk of getting ovarian cancer is 1 in 70 women, and the disease does have a genetic factor, so examine your family history thoroughly. Currently, medicine has screening tests for several different types of cancer….. mammograms for breast cancer, PSA for prostate, Pap smears for cervical cancer but as of yet, nothing with any consistent effectiveness for ovarian cancer. The most widely used screening test, the CA 125 blood test, is grossly inefficient. Many patients with ovarian cancer show no elevation in the marker and yet many women with benign conditions like endometriosis show high elevations.
Since medicine has no definitive test for Ovarian cancer, monitoring symptoms can be critical in diagnosing this disease in its early stages. If caught at Stage 1 – chances of a cure are 95%!!!!! The symptoms tend to be very generic and could be associated with other conditions so don’t panic… however if you have more than two or three of the following, several times a month… call your doctor immediately.