The Epidemiology of Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

According to the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA), uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is a type of rare tumor, and only about six women out of a million are diagnosed in the United States every year. Most uterine LMS are diagnosed after a hysterectomy or myomectomy. While it is almost impossible to diagnose LMS before a surgery, an MRI paired with a blood test for serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) may result in an accurate diagnosis.

Uterine LMS is treated with surgery, and, according to statistics from the SFA, this treatment prevents the tumor from spreading beyond the uterus in 75% of the patients. Unfortunately, LMS is aggressive; there is only a 50% chance of survival within 5 years for people whose tumor is only in the uterus.

The use of power morcellators in surgeries allegedly metastasizes cancerous cells that become leiomyosarcoma. If you think you have suffered as a result of a power morcellator, speak with our lawyers at Williams Kherkher to begin building your product liability case. Call us today at (888) 220-0640.

Morcellator lawsuit cites spread of leiomyosarcoma reported on November 24 that yet another power morcellator lawsuit was filed against a known manufacturer of the device over the metastasizing of a New York woman’s cancer. The lawsuit stated that the device was used in the plaintiff’s laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy procedure for uterine fibroid treatment.

This specific lawsuit states that the woman was tested for cancer before her procedure and the results came back negative. However, she was diagnosed with advanced leiomyosarcoma after her surgery.

The 43-year-old plaintiff, aware that her cancer was fatal, recorded testimony before passing away. She succumbed to her illness last September 2015. The lawsuit is now being handled by the plaintiff’s family.

Doctors ask FDA to reverse morcellator warning

Newsweek has recently reported that a group of gynecologists, oncologists, and women’s health experts have challenged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning notice on the use of power morcellators in uterine fibroid removal.

The physicians claimed that prohibiting the use of the electromechanical morcellator will just precipitate the use of more invasive and riskier alternative procedures and will pose more risks to the patient. The doctors issued an open letter to the FDA challenging the officials to reverse their decision to stop the use of the morcellator.

Power morcellators spawned lawsuits in recent years alleging that the device spreads uterine fibroids during surgical procedures which eventually become cancerous. The lawsuits involve mostly women, stating that they were diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of female cancer, after the use of morcellators.

If you have been negatively affected by the use of a power morcellator during routine surgery, the attorneys at Williams Kherkher may be able to help you pursue compensation for your undue suffering. Call us today at (888) 220-0640 to discuss your case.

What you need to know about power morcellators

In the recent years, power morcellators have cause alarm in the women’s health community due to its alleged side effect of potentially spreading cancerous cells and expediting growth. In a recent blog post, the Wall Street Journal listed five things that are important to know when considering these devices. Among the bullet points are the facts that

  1. There is no surefire way to detect whether a fibroid is cancerous before surgery
  2. Morcellators are not perfect — these tools do leave bits of tissue in the body
  3. While some doctors are beginning to implement the use of bags to help contain the fibroid tissue, many gynecologists do not feel this is necessary
  4. There are alternative surgeries available to women with fibroids that may also offer smaller incisions and minimally invasive operations

While some doctors feel that there are benefits to the use of this tool, others have made it clear that it could pose dangerous risks to some women. If you have suffered as a result of the use of a power morcellator in your gynecological surgery, call the attorneys at Williams Kherkher today at (888) 220-0640 to speak to a pharmaceutical product liability attorney and learn more about your legal options.

Man sues morcellator manufacturer over wife’s death

The Legal Examiner reported on November 20 that a man from North Carolina, Jerry Woodell, filed a wrongful death and product liability case against a power morcellator manufacturer after his wife died following a hysterectomy.

Woodell’s wife had a laparoscopic hysterectomy with a power morcellator to remore uterine fibroids in March of 2012. The lawsuit, filed recently, cited that Woodell’s wife was in and out of the hospital after the surgery, often complaining of migraines and fatigue. She was then diagnosed with large masses in her pelvis that turned out to be a high-grade leiomyosarcoma. Woodell’s wife spent the next year and a half undergoing different surgeries and extensive chemotherapy, but the tumor only increased in size and spread over her body. She passed away last September 9.

In his lawsuit, Woodell claims that the morcellator manufacturer should have been aware of the possible dangers involved in the use of morcellators in surgeries.

Understanding the role of morcellators in leiomyosarcoma

Leiomyosarcoma is a type of cancer that forms from smooth muscle cells in the soft tissues, usually in the gastrointestinal tract or the uterus. When these cells develop in the muscular part of the uterus, it is referred to as uterine leiomyosarcoma. This type of cancer is most common in women who range in age from 40 to 60.

One thing that has been identified as a danger to women who are at risk of developing this cancer is the power morcellator. This tool uses a rotating blade to break up large portions of fibroid tissues into smaller fragments and then vacuum them away from the body. When morcellators are used on fibroids that contain cancer cells, the act of breaking them up can release those cells and allow them to scatter throughout the body. This often leads malignant cells to grow much more rapidly than they would have otherwise, expediting the growth of metastatic leiomyosarcoma in the body.

If you were diagnosed with uterine or metastatic leiomyosarcoma after a procedure involving a power morcellator, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Williams Kherkher. We want to fight for you and your rights so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us now at (888) 220-0640 to learn more.

Symptoms of morcellation-induced cancer

Women who have undiagnosed uterine cancer may be at a higher risk of those cells spreading if they undergo medical procedures in which power morcellators are used. These instruments can cause additional harm by releasing concealed cancerous cells in early developmental stages during the process of breaking up fibroids or other growths. By releasing these cancerous cells, morcellators allow them to grow in new and dangerous areas of the body where they would not have otherwise spread so quickly. Morcellators may actually advance cancers from early stages to later stages.

Women are at a particularly high risk of developing uterine cancer as a result of morcellator procedures. A few symptoms to watch for after this type of procedure are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling of the abdomen or the pelvis
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting, which may occur after menopause or between monthly periods
  • Weight loss

Other symptoms include back pain and nerve issues if the tumor affects organs or bones such as the spinal cord.

If you or a loved one suffers from cancer that was spread by power morcellators, consult with the legal team at Williams Kherkher to learn about your legal options. Call us today at (888) 220-0640.

Ethicon power morcellator lawsuits will be consolidated

Following dozens of lawsuits alleging a link between Ethicon Inc.’s power morcellators and the spread of uterine cancer, a federal judicial panel has created a federal docket in the District of Kansas in order to consolidate these cases and accelerate the process of reaching settlements.

One example of a pending lawsuit involves a woman from Colorado who had a laparoscopic procedure in which the surgeon used a morcellator manufactured by Ethicon to treat her uterine fibroids. Soon after her procedure, she was told that one of her fibroids contained leiomyosarcoma. She has been in radiation treatment and chemotherapy, which she claimed to be disabling and painful.

The plaintiff complained that even with Ethicon’s knowledge of the new evidences and safety hazards, the manufacturer still failed to design their power morcellator product in a way that would lessen the risk of uterine cancer.

If your health has been suffering after the use of a power morcellator during your surgery, consider speaking with our legal team at Williams Kherkher to build a case against the liable party. Call us today at (800) 220-9341.

Power morcellator lawsuits increase

According to Legal Herald, many power morcellator manufacturers are facing an increase in lawsuits after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a safety warning this past year.

Currently, there has been a count of about 30 lawsuits filed against several manufacturers including big names like Richard Wolf GmBH, Karl Storz, Ethicon, and Gyrus ACMI. It was also reported that each of these lawsuits involved a woman that had recently undergone laparoscopic surgery and was diagnosed with uterine cancer after using the morcellator. The plaintiffs had radiation treatments and chemotherapy. There have also been reported deaths among the plaintiffs, even with the treatment.

Ethicon had already announced the withdrawal of their morcellators from the market following the FDA’s safety warning. Ethicon believes that it is the best move until new medical guidelines are released.

If you think you are suffering from having used a morcellator, strengthen your case by consulting with our power morcellator lawyers at Williams Kherkher. Call us now at (888) 220-0640.

Ovarian cancer patients taking beta-blockers have better survival rates

A retrospective study found that ovarian cancer patients who took certain types of drugs for hypertension had better survival rates than other women with the disease, an article from WebMD reported.

In a study of 1,425 cancer patients taking beta-blockers, scientists learned that women taking beta-2 and beta-3 blockers, or nonselective beta-blockers, lived for almost eight years on average after an ovarian cancer diagnosis, as compared to three years among those who did not take beta-blockers. According to research, beta-blockers are known to inhibit the effects of epinephrine, which promotes the growth of cancer cells.

However, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Dr. Christina Annuziata, warned ovarian cancer patients about the dangers of using beta-blockers when you don’t have high blood pressure.

The use of power morcellators during hysterectomies may spread undetected cancer tissues in the inside lining of the uterus, resulting in ovarian cancer. To know more about holding the device makers accountable for all of your damages, seek the legal guidance and representation of our legal team at Williams Kherkher. Call us at (888) 220-0640 for a free case assessment today.

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