Outrage at Media’s Suggestion Morcellator Cancer Risks Are Low
After a study was published by JAMA Oncology in February 2015 examining the prevalence of cancer in women who undergo power morcellation, many media outlets published stories suggesting that related post-op cancer risks were “low.” This conclusion drew criticism from Boston doctor Hooman Noorchashm, one of the most outspoken advocates for banning the device—which is used by doctors during hysterectomies and myomectomies to grind up and remove uterine fibroids through a small incision in the abdomen, but has been under fire since the FDA issued an announcement in April 2014 warning doctors of potential risks of spreading unknown cancer. Dr. Noorchashm’s wife is currently battling leiomyosarcoma cancer, which spread after a power morcellator was used in her uterine fibroid removal surgery.
The misleading spin that media outlets put on the study results further fuels the couple’s efforts to fight against the use of these surgical devices responsible for an estimated 1 in 350 unsuspected sarcoma diagnoses, according to FDA estimates. In 2013, they launched a petition to ban power morcellators that has collected more than 87,000 signatures.