FDA Warning About Device Capable of Spreading Cancer

FDA Warns of Laparoscopic power morcellator

FDA Warns of Laparoscopic power morcellator

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken action to stop the use of a gynecological device that can spread pre-existing cancer in women.  Laparoscopic power morcellators are used in the removal of the uterus, or to remove fibroids.

The device is used to destroy fibroids, which are then removed by key hole surgery.  There is no way to know if the fibroids contain cancer cells. If they do, the destruction process may released some of those cells, allowing cancer to spread to other organs.

This can lead to more dangerous forms of cancer developing, which cannot be treated as easily.

In a press release,William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health said: “Updating the device label with a boxed warning and contraindications will provide clinicians and patients with critical information about the risk of spreading cancerous tissue when these procedures are performed.”

The FDA was made aware of the flaw with this device by surgeon Hooman Noorchashm.  Dr Noorchashm’s wife, Amy Reed, had the procedure as a part of her hysterectomy and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  The use of the device had spread cancer cells throughout her body.  Thankfully Amy is currently in full remission.

Whilst Dr Noorchashm was arguing for a complete ban on the device, the FDA was chosen to add a compulsory warning to the device.  The warning indicates that the device may spread cancer cells throughout the body.

The FDA chose to only use a warning because younger women may still safely use the device in their procedures.  That is due to the fact younger women are much less likely to have cancer cells in regions that can be spread.  If the device is not used, fertility can be affected.

Some hospitals have already stopped using the device, well aware of the risk before the FDA decision.  One of the companies that manufacture the device has also pulled it off the market, a sure sign that the risk of the procedure is well known.

So while this device might still play a role in certain surgeries, for older women with a higher chance of cancer, it is too risky.

New Insurance Laws Affecting Cancer Centers

Cancer Insurance Changes

Cancer Insurance Changes

In an alarming new development, it turns out that under the new health care program currently being rolled out by the Obama administration, some cancer hospitals are not included in the insurance coverage.

A number of doctors, hospital administrators and insurance regulators discovered the issue in recent months are are now spreading the word.

Associated Press recently reported on the exclusion of these hospitals. As an example of what they found – the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of the eight insurers in the Washington Insurance Exchange. The MD Anderson Cancer Center has indicated that it is available in only half of the plans in the Houston area and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering facility in New York is only included by two of the nine insurers!

Only four nationally recognized cancer centers contacted by Associated Press indicated that universal access was available to their treatment centers with all plans included their facilities in their coverage.

Insurance companies previously listed these prestigious cancer centers as a major selling point for their policies. Now they are more focused on keeping costs down so are stripping some of the more expensive elements from their policies.

The importance of this issue is that not only might people miss out on their preferred treatment center, they might in fact miss out on the best possible treatment for their illness, including access to medical trials of new cancer drugs.

For people who have a history of cancer in their family, they might be able to plan ahead and make sure their plan includes some of the more renowned cancer treatment centers. However for most people, to whom cancer is a horrible surprise – they might suddenly realize their insurance plan does not include the best outcome for them.

So what can you do to obtain the best insurance for your family? Shop around and read the fine print. Additionally, if you know where the best cancer treatment facility in your area is, you can contact them for a list of insurance plans that include their facility as a treatment location.

That all makes Barack Obama’s health care plan seem a bit lack luster right? Well the good news is that under he Affordable Health Care act insurers can no longer turn you away people with preexisting health problems, or charge them more for having those conditions before being insured. That is incredible news for people who have a history of dealing with cancer.

Because insurers are now being super competitive when it comes to price, they are trimming what they can. That means if you have very specific health care requirements or you are concerned about a particular ailment like cancer, you need to look at the policies in fine detail.

Insurance companies are required to be very clear with you about their policies as well, so ask as many questions as you need to, to get the assurances you need. Cancer survivors and anyone with a family history of cancer needs to pay particular attention to their policy.

If your workplace is choosing your insurance for you, it might be a problem you can’t easily solve.

Cancer Pain Management

Cancer Pain Management

Cancer Pain Management


Cancer pain is unusual compared to other forms of pain because of the large number of forms the pain can take. It can be very debilitating and can appear in numerous parts of the body at once. You can’t just take any kind of medication for the pain, because only certain types will be effective and you might be doing more harm than good by taking the wrong medication.

Because cancer pain can present in complex ways affecting many parts of the body, it is best to talk to an expert about pain management options. Your local general practitioner might not be the best qualified either – sometimes you will have to consult an oncologist or specialist to find a solution to the pain.

Effective treatments can also vary greatly with cancer pain, with some people having to use alternative therapies in conjunction with medication to get pain relief. You should try to keep an open mind when examining possible treatment methods, because pain relief can come from unusual areas including meditation and yoga.

Technology also plays a greater role in cancer pain relief nowadays. Some patients have to undertake scans to determine what part of the body is the root cause of the pain. That is because sometimes while the pain presents in one part of the body, the source of the pain is elsewhere. So you can have a sore back from pancreatic cancer, but treatments targeting back pain will not work on it. Technology helps locate the pain and the best treatment options.

It also helps to have access to staff that have experience in treating people with cancer pain. Being able to consult with experienced oncologists and nurses who have dealt with the particular form of cancer that you have will usually lead to a solution much faster. They will also have a greater understanding of the extent of the pain that you are going through.

Finding a doctor with that level of experience is crucial. Don’t be afraid of trying a number of doctors is your cancer pain is unresolved. Continue searching for pain relief even after a couple of doctors have failed you – relief is usually out there.

Also consult cancer support groups and other people who are going through the same cancer as you. People with the same illness will know exactly what the pain is like and what pain relief measures work. They are often the best source of information because they have experienced cancer pain first hand. Fellow cancer patients can also offer empathy because they know the battle with cancer very well.

Staying positive is also crucial, continue looking for pain relief and don’t give up.

The Role Of The Oncologist

What is an Oncologist

What is an Oncologist

An Oncologist is a medical expert who is specifically educated to detect and deal with various types of cancer. They will see patients with a number of cancers that attack a number of parts of the body for example the lungs, epidermis, eyes, mouth, tongue, bones, lymph nodes, digestive system, and many other organs. This kind of doctor is qualified to spot the signs and symptoms, ascertain where the cancer malignancy is growing, and establish an effective treatment plan to possibly eradicate or restrict the cancer so it cannot enter other parts of your body. In the field of oncology a number of health professionals opt to focus on one or more treatment areas.

A radiation oncologist is a medical professional who plans and manages radiation treatment plans for certain types of cancer. They will develop a plan and work beside the other people in the radiology group to evaluate the patient’s development and alter the plan for treatment as is required. He will in addition help the patient cope with the numerous possible side effects associated with radiology treatment. These specialists complete nine years of school together with four years of post degree residency which is specifically focused on the field of radiation oncology. In addition, they undertake thorough examination to become a authorized person in the American Board of Radiology.

Some oncologists decide to specialize in chemotherapy as their primary treatment for cancer. In some severe cases, both chemo and radiation are utilized to reduce the cancers growing inside a sufferer’s body.

Whenever a growth may be easily extracted without problems for vital organs, a surgical oncologist may also be included in the treatment plan. Surgery is commonly used when the tumor hasn’t spread very far from its initial region of growth, so cancer that has spread further than its origin is unlikely to be helped through surgical procedures. Even after surgery, other treatments like chemo and radiation therapy might be used to battle the left over cancer cells and prevent further growths.

The job of the oncology nurse can be just as crucial as the role played by the medical oncologist who plans and carries out cancer treatments. The nurse is the person who is continually assessing the patient’s development, coordinating treatments, instructing the sufferer and his family, and continuing to find out more and more about cancer malignancy through numerous hours of investigation on recent developments in the discipline.

An oncology nurse is one of the first medical experts to encounter the recently diagnosed patient. During that first meeting, they will take his medical history, examine any laboratory results that have come into the office, and appraise the patient’s all round physical and emotional state. As soon as treatment methods are begun, she’ll assess the patient’s emotional and physical condition throughout the treatment method and later on. This record allows the doctor to ascertain the most effective course of treatment and if the existing course has to be altered.

Along with evaluations, the oncology nurse is responsible for educating the patient and his family members in the treatment method the sufferer is going to be receiving. She’ll additionally explain the kind of cancer he has and the way this treatment solution should help.