FDA: Fibroid removal may risk spreading cancer to other bodily areas

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the ONA take:

A panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) experts has reported that a standard, less invasive form of surgery for fibroid removal has a higher risk of unintended spread of cancers to other areas of the body.

Laparoscopic power morcellation is often favored by physicians because it is less invasive, resulting in small bodily incisions and shorter hospital recovery. The technique involves grinding tissue and removing it via a small opening. 

The panel discussed the difficulty of screening women for a rare form of uterine cancer, called leiomyosarcoma, before a laparoscopic power morcellation is performed. Oncologists have already acknowledged the possibility of the surgical technique accidentally spreading undetected cancer, but the FDA now estimates that as many as 1 in 350 women may have undetected uterine cancer that can be ruptured by the technique (previous estimates were roughly 1 in 7,000 women). The FDA does not believe that containment devices, such as bags designed to catch the shredded tissue, are particularly effective in halting the potential risk of cancer spreading to other areas. The FDA panel suggested that women undergoing laparoscopic power morcellation should sign an agreement stating that they understand the increased risk of cancer spread involved with the procedure. 

FDA: Fibroid removal may risk spreading cancer to other bodily areas
FDA: Fibroid removal may risk spreading cancer to other bodily areas

WASHINGTON — Federal health advisers say there is little to no evidence that a popular technique for removing fibroids can be performed without the risk of spreading undetected cancers to other parts of the body.

The panel of Food and Drug Administration experts also said Friday that women who do undergo the procedure should sign a written consent form stating they understand the serious risks of laparoscopic power morcellation, in which electronic tools are used to grind tissue and remove it through a small incision in the abdomen.

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