Minimally-Invasive Surgery for Cervical Cancer Could Lead to ReoccurrenceNovember 5th, 2018
JACKSON, Mississippi. The New York Times recently reported on a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine that found that minimally-invasive surgery for cervical cancer comes with a higher risk of reoccurrence than the older, more invasive method. In fact, partway through the study, the study had to be halted because too many women who were receiving the minimally invasive procedure were dying. Doctors could not continue the research ethically, without informing patients about the risk. Doctors in the study stopped it to tell patients who were considering the minimally invasive surgery to go with open surgery instead. As more cancer specialists learn about the new data, many are changing the way they treat cancer surgically. While less-invasive treatment options provide faster recovery times, the risk of reoccurrence is a serious consideration that must be made when deciding which treatment method to use, given this new information. According to , in the minimally-invasive group of the study, 10% of patients died of cancer, while in the open surgery group only 5% died. During minimally-invasive cervical cancer surgery, the uterus is removed through the vagina.
Unfortunately, according to the Times, some doctors who have invested time and money in the less-invasive approach may be less likely to give it up. For example, doctors who have invested in laparoscopic surgery equipment and training might not want to lose their current caseload. Are there cases where laparoscopic surgery might be more appropriate? Women who face higher risk factors for complications from open surgery may still be better off with a minimally-invasive method because both methods still show reasonably good results. If you have cervical cancer and have risk factors, it is important to discuss with your doctor the benefits and drawbacks of each procedure.
Patients who are not informed about the latest studies before they go into surgery might rely on their doctors to decide which procedure to choose. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate surgery. Doctors ultimately need to make decisions that are best for their patients. When they fail to do so, often a patient’s only recourse is to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit if they become ill. The The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm are medical malpractice lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi who are closely watching how doctors respond to this new information about best practices for cervical cancer treatment. If you believe your doctor’s failure to utilize best practices resulted in your cancer recurrence or continued illness, you may have certain rights under the law.
Have you had minimally invasive surgery to remove your uterus? The Times reports that if you had the procedure performed more than two years ago, your risk of reoccurrence is lower. However, because most reoccurrences happen within two years of surgery, women who have recently undergone the procedure may want to follow up with their doctors. Doctors are still working on what the best practice should be in these cases. However, CNN reports that patients who underwent the minimally-invasive procedure should watch for signs of cancer reoccurrence like bleeding, bloating, and pain.
Have you had minimally-invasive cervical cancer surgery? Has your cancer recurred? Contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, personal injury lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi today to learn more. Doctors have a responsibility to do what is best for their patients. In the coming weeks and months, patients may have to self-advocate especially if they have recently received a diagnosis of cervical cancer, as many doctors may still be performing minimally-invasive surgery.
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