hysterectomy cancer

Hysterectomy and the “C” Word

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I have connected with many women in the nine years since my unwarranted hysterectomy. I have been appalled and saddened by the number of women who were railroaded into hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy (ovary removal – castration) by being told that it was necessary. Some were misled into believing they had cancer or pre-cancer when they did not. Some were referred to oncologists unnecessarily to further instill fear.

The fact that only 2% of these surgeries are done for a cancer diagnosis and most pre-cancerous conditions are treatable without organ removal, something is certainly “rotten in Denmark.”

Gynecologic Cancer Statistics

According to U.S. government cancer statistics, the average woman’s lifetime risk of gynecologic cancers is rare. Specifically, statistics are:

  • Cervical – 0.7%
  • Endometrial – 2.7%
  • Ovarian – 1.3%

With these low rates of cancer as well as the organ-sparing treatments available for almost all gynecologic maladies including abnormal or precancerous cells (that may never even turn into cancer), why are surgeons removing so many female organs?

Using Cancer to Market Hysterectomy

With the prevalence of cancer scare tactics by surgeons and the media, women tend to focus on ridding themselves of the potential for cancer even though that risk is very low for all but a small percentage of women. This focus on the cancer aspect is oftentimes to the exclusion of considering the long-term adverse effects of losing the uterus and/or ovaries. Very few people encourage women to question their doctors. This is even rarer when the “c” word is used.

The Big C: Is it Cancer or Conspiracy?

With the cancer rates so low, one has to wonder whether the big C we all hear about, is cancer or something else. Based on all the research I have done and the many women with whom I have connected since my unwarranted hysterectomy and castration, I have concluded that the “C” isn’t about cancer at all. It is about conspiracy.

The Free Dictionary defines “conspiracy” as “An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.” Let’s break down the definition of “conspiracy”:

  • “an agreement to perform together”

There are many players in the annual $17B hysterectomy and oophorectomy industry – the surgeons and their nurses and office staff, the anesthesiologists, the hospitals and their nurses and other staff, the medical device manufacturers (e.g., da Vinci robot), and indirectly the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market hormone “replacement” drugs and other drugs to treat conditions resulting from post-hysterectomy side effects.

  • “an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act”

A medical treatment that is procured through misleading or dishonest information and omission of facts from a doctor or other medical professional is, plain and simple, wrong. And the unnecessary removal of organs with vital, lifelong functions is a most egregious act which should be treated as assault and battery as well as fraud.

How else can one explain the removal of 1 in 3 women’s vital sex organ(s) by age 60 and 1 in 2 by age 65 with these very low cancer rates? And how else can one explain that 78% of women ages 45 to 64 lose healthy ovaries at the time of hysterectomy?

Prophylactic Ovary Removal with Hysterectomy: More Deadly than Cancer

What else would account for the fact that these damaging surgeries are a $17B industry despite the many medical studies showing the long-term harm? This article highlights the absurdity of pre- and post-menopausal prophylactic ovary removal due to the “higher risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, hip fracture, Parkinsonism, dementia, cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety in many studies. While ovarian cancer accounts for 14,800 deaths per year in the USA, coronary heart disease accounts for 350,000 deaths per year. In addition, 100,000 cases of dementia may be attributable annually to prior bilateral oophorectomy.” And post-hysterectomy ovarian failure which occurs at a fairly high rate would have these same risks. Although the heart disease fact sheet on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website lists heart disease as the #1 killer of women, there is no mention of the link between female organ removal and heart disease. Nor does the CDC’s dementia fact sheet list it as a risk factor for dementia.

ACOG Says: Most Hysterectomies not Medically Necessary

A 2000 study showed that 76% of hysterectomies did not meet ACOG criteria and 70% were deemed unnecessary. An excerpt says “The most common reasons recommendations for hysterectomies considered inappropriate were lack of adequate diagnostic evaluation and failure to try alternative treatments before hysterectomy.” Another excerpt says “Hysterectomy is often recommended for indications judged inappropriate. Patients and physicians should work together to ensure that proper diagnostic evaluation has been done and appropriate treatments considered before hysterectomy is recommended.”

In other words, women need to proceed with extreme caution and not rely on their Gynecology specialists’ treatment recommendations. So who can women trust??

Women to Women “Support” for Hysterectomy Decisions? Maybe. Maybe not.

Can women count on other women who have had hysterectomies and/or oophorectomies to share the negatives? In my experience, not so much. This is likely due to a number of factors but primarily, if a woman believes the removal of her organ(s) was necessary, as many are led to believe, she is less apt to share the negatives because she assumes the surgery was necessary for her and must be necessary for other women. Even when the organ removal was truly her choice, the horrifying effects can be too much to bear, much less admit to others. It is difficult to admit when one makes a medical mistake, especially when there is nothing available to fix the mistake.

After I had my hysterectomy, the last thing I wanted to do was call attention to my severely thinning, dry, frizzy hair, my rapidly aging / sagging skin, and horrifying figure changes. I have since become outspoken and hope that the visible effects of having my organs removed have made an impact on those who know my situation. For those who did not know me or my situation, I am sure there were whispered questions “what happened to her?”

Post-hysterectomy, I experienced  personality changes. My vivacious, happy, social disposition changed drastically almost overnight to the exact opposite. I became a recluse, seldom talked, never laughed, and was suicidal with depressed and anxious thoughts. This was before any of the classic menopausal symptoms kicked in. These changes had to be obvious to my co-workers, friends, and family members. The loss of my sexual “energy” may have been lost on many but was very apparent to me (and my husband). Even though talk of sex and sexuality is all over the media, it is still somewhat taboo to share such intimate information. And who wants to admit that they have lost their sexuality? From my experience, it can be difficult to share the breadth and depth of symptoms experienced after the ovaries are removed and so, woman to woman support may not be as forthcoming as we might hope. You can read my unnecessary hysterectomy story here.

Post Hysterectomy Symptoms Develop Gradually

Another reason woman to woman support is not always helpful is that many of the negative effects of hysterectomy do not develop immediately, especially when ovaries are not removed. Women who have been suffering with severe and/or prolonged health issues prior to the hysterectomy, are happy to get relief and, therefore, tell others they were glad they had the surgery. Once the problems start stacking up, they may not want to reverse course and admit that their hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy was a mistake. Moreover, they may not associate new symptoms with the surgery, especially those that developed gradually or cropped up many months or years down the road. Regardless of the problems that led up to the surgery, it is human nature to justify our decisions and discount the negatives of those decisions.

Finally, many people (women and men) find it difficult to believe that a surgery that is so common can have such serious and permanent side effects. Why would these surgeries be so prevalent if they can cause so much harm? Don’t doctors take an oath to “do no harm?” When I was told I needed organs removed, I know my first thought was surely my doctor (one I had respected for 19 years) would not remove organs needlessly. Boy, was I wrong!

Hysterectomy Forums are not Entirely Balanced

You would think internet hysterectomy forums would give women ample information about the many negative effects and the gross overuse of hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Speaking out anonymously on a forum is “safer” than doing so in person, but for any number of reasons, balanced discussions regarding the risks versus the benefits of hysterectomy and/or ovary removal are rare on public hysterectomy forums.

Many women don’t seem to take the time to read old posts before proceeding to surgery. Instead, they post asking for input and tend to base their decisions on the responses they get. These opinions, along with their surgeons’ input tend to omit or gloss over the long-term effects of hysterectomy. In some cases, time constraints derail a woman’s ability to research her options. From my experience, surgeons tend to rush women into surgery.

Some hysterectomy forums exude camaraderie and sisterhood amongst the hysterectomy ranks. However, if your experiences are negative and you discourage hysterectomy, your voice is drowned out by all those encouraging hysterectomy, both ones who have had the surgery (many who are recently post-op) and ones who are considering or scheduled for surgery. Posts will be hidden or blocked if the staff considers them too negative or members or staff report your posts as “frightening.”

The hiding or blocking of posts does not align with providing women thorough discussion of hysterectomy risks versus benefits. In fact, hiding posts from women who have had negative experiences with hysterectomy and/or ovary removal, biases the forum in favor of organ removal. For women considering surgery, not seeing the potentially negative consequences can skew their decision making. Biased discussions, hidden or blocked posts also occur on surgical menopause forums. I was banned from a surgical menopause forum for talking about the anatomical and skeletal changes that develop post-hysterectomy, information women should have prior to making a decision. This article explains the post-hysterectomy figure changes.

C = Conspiracy

Clearly, conspiracy is much more at play than cancer when it comes to female organ removal. Buyer beware! Any woman considering a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy should watch the HERS Foundation’s video of “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs.” Yes, it IS frightening but wouldn’t you want to know the possible repercussions before consenting to something so permanent especially if you do not have cancer?

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This post was published originally in October 2014.

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WS has a passion for educating women (and men) about the overuse and harm caused by gynecologic procedures. She also wants to raise awareness that health care has evolved from being patient centered to being profit and quota driven. This paradigm shift is responsible for excessive unnecessary testing and over-treatment which is not only costly but can cause more harm than good.

19 Comments

  1. AND THE AUSTRALIAN WAY AS WELL.

    The American Way of Hysterectomy
    The following is an excerpt from ‘The Hysterectomy Hoax’ by Stanley West M.D. The title of this chapter in Dr. West’s book is ‘The American Way of Hysterectomy’. The title says a lot. America leads the entire world in performing hysterectomies. According to Dr. West, the high rate of hysterectomy in the U.S. tells us more about doctors than it does about disease.
    “When I was a resident at a big teaching hospital in the Northeast, the chief of the department of gynecology (let’s call him Dr. Smith) performed two or three hysterectomies a day, five days a week. I often assisted him and I can assure you that most of the women we operated on had absolutely nothing wrong with them. It was common knowledge in the hospital that many (if not most) of Dr. Smith’s hysterectomies unnecessary. How did he get away with it?
    Well, first of all, he was a powerful man, widely respected for his surgical – and political – skills. He had carved out a fiefdom for himself, which he ruled with unquestioned authority. He was also a man of great personal charm. His patients loved him for his warm manner and solicitude. He assiduously courted their goodwill and conveyed to each one the sense that she was a special case deserving of his individual attention. In that respect, he ‘sold’ hysterectomies as skillfully as he performed them. He made a lot of money.
    Every year, over 600,000 American women undergo hysterectomy. At that rate, one out of every three women in this country will have had a hysterectomy by the time she reaches her sixtieth birthday. The very idea that one third of all the women in the United States will develop problems severe enough to warrant hysterectomy just doesn’t make sense. If gynecological disorders were so widespread, surely we would see an equivalent rate of hysterectomy elsewhere in the world, but no other country comes close to matching the number of hysterectomies performed in the United States. And there certainly is no indication that women in other countries are worse off than American women because they do not have the benefit of so many hysterectomies.
    I’m afraid that the American way of hysterectomy tells us a lot more about doctors than it does about disease. The surprisingly outdated attitudes doctors harbor toward female patients are a big part of the problem. Some very old-fashioned views remain embedded in medical training. It may take a few more decades and more medical consumerism on the part of women before the old attitudes give way to a more rational and scientific basis for hysterectomy.”

    Tip of the iceberg on what doctors are saying about the hysterectomy con..

    SCARE TACTICS
    The foregoing stories are not cases of medical error, but of FRAUD. The uterus is a favoured target for a number of unscrupulous doctors who deliberately use scare tactics to persuade patients to have high-priced, unneeded surgery. The approach includes statements like:
    “This is something bad for you. Who knows what it will cause in the future, so it must come out!”
    “Why do you need or want your uterus? Now that you’ve had your children it ought to come out!”
    “We can’t tell when that will become malignant. It had better come out now!”
    THE CANCER SCARE!
    It takes a well-informed patient to walk away from that one!
    The percentage of cases in which needless surgery is performed is impossible to pin down – but it is not small.
    Women Under the Knife: A Gynaecologist’s Report on Hazardous Medicine.
    Herbert H. Keyser, M.D.
    MEDICAL CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
    While most doctors are male, women are the main recipients of medical treatment. In a financial sense they provide not only the bread and butter for the medical profession, but also the cream and the jam.
    Women undergo more operations, consume more medications and are subjected to more tests and experimental procedures than their male counterparts.
    As a consequence, many more women than men suffer financial hardship, sickness, disability and death as a direct result of treatment by their doctors.
    Dangerous and needless operations, deadly drugs for conception, contraception, morning sickness, menopause and other ‘women’s complaints’, and unethical life-threatening experiments misrepresented as ‘safe’ therapy – these are some of modern medicine’s most recent crimes against women.
    BAD MEDICINE: Is the Health Care System Letting You Down? How Safe is Modern Medicine
    John Archer… Investigative Journalist..
    WOMEN AS TARGETS…
    “Woman is a pair of ovaries with a human being attached; whereas man is a human being furnished with a pair of testes.”
    DR RUDOLF VIRCHOW, WOMEN UNDER THE KNIFE
    “Women make superb guinea pigs. They don’t cost anything, they clean their own cages, they pay for their own bills, and they remunerate the clinical observer.”
    DR RALPH BENSON, THE CLAY PEDESTAL
    “If like all human beings, he {the gynaecologist} is made in the image of the Almighty, and he is kind, then his kindness and concern for his patient may provide her with a glimpse of God’s image.”
    RUSSELL C. SCOTT, M.D., THE WORLD OF THE GYNAECOLOGIST
    9 out of 10 hysterectomies are unnecessary and are mainly done for profit and medical training and can do far more harm than good….
    Dr Stanley West…”The Hysterectomy Hoax”….. (Hoax: a trick or fraud intended to deceive).
    Gynaecologists are the most dangerous to women’s health than any other doctors.
    60% of complaints against doctors are against gynaecologists.
    Women who go to clinics and Community Health Services in low socioeconomic areas for Pap smears, etc., are at more risk of getting unnecessary surgeries than if they go to their own doctors or a general practitioner.
    Too Many Hysterectomies?
    Doctors say that more than two-third of hysterectomies each year may be unnecessary.
    But here’s a shocker: More than two-thirds of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed every year may be unnecessary, experts say. The truth: Several other approaches are available that may have fewer complications and shorter recovery times. And some research suggests that hysterectomy may lead to sexual problems, incontinence, and a slight loss of physical strength……
    In 1945, at a Gynecological Convention, a speaker said: “Hysterectomy is a mainly a racket, where the majority are done for dubious reasons at best, and non-existent reasons at worst.”
    Fabricating cancer is one of the dirty tricks they use to frighten women into unnecessary radical hysterectomies….. Remember 90% of all gynaecological surgery are unnecessary, especially hysterectomies and they make gynaecologists very, very rich and turn the women into high maintenance patients for life. Beware if they say you have cancer. That is one of their tricks to frighten women into these barbaric mutilations.
    Researchers have discovered that up to 98% are done for dubious reasons at best and non-existent reasons at worst. The cancer scare is one of the tricks gynaecologists use to frighten women into unnecessary hysterectomies…Many women are tricked this way, and when they are told they had no cancer, the women are so relieved that they never realize that they never did have cancer to start with. They were victims of fraud by unscrupulous gynaecologists
    Australia’s rate of unnecessary surgical procedures ranges from appendectomies to the excessive removal of females’ uteruses. This wholesale removal of functioning body parts is often a direct result of fee for service medicine. Problems are abroad when doctors succumb to dollars as an indication for surgery. The welfare of a patient disappears along the doctors wholesale road to further payment on the BMW or the next successful tax effective property investment.
    Dr Paul Curson
    Is The HEALTH-CARE system letting you down?
    To an enthusiastic surgeon, there is not such thing as unnecessary surgery and as Bernard Shaw pointed out, once an operation has been performed, it’s difficult to prove in retrospect that it was unnecessary. The debate about what constitutes appropriate reasons for some forms of surgery has raged in medical circles for a century.
    However, as we shall see, research into the subject in recent years has confirmed that a high proportion of unnecessary surgery is still being performed, even by reputable surgeons. This practice needs to be considered to be considered in its social perspective.
    If a non-surgeon were to cut someone open with a knife, remove a perfectly healthy organ and simultaneously rob the same person of $1,000, he would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, robbery, and numerous other offences. If he said in his defence that he did it for the victim’s own good, a jury could justifiably find him criminally insane.
    On the other hand, this same procedure ceases to be a crime when performed by a suitably qualified medical practitioner, who has judged in his professional opinion that the operation is required or ‘indicated’.
    ‘Many surgical procedures still have no demonstrated proof of their effectiveness or of their value to the patient,’ wrote Brian Inglis in The Diseases of Civilisation. He continued: ‘When a new drug is produced, clinical trials have to be conducted before it is passed for general use. No such monitoring is applied to surgical operations nor are trials carried out to test whether they are necessary and, if so, whether they can be made safer. As a result, many pointless types of operations have been introduced and used for many years on unsuspecting patients…’.
    Part of the problem is the practitioner’s sincere belief in the value of surgery as an appropriate solution for a wide variety of complaints. Just as a psychiatrist may assure you that your symptoms are a physical manifestation of an emotional disorder which can be cured with therapy, so a surgeon may be equally convinced that surgery is a more beneficial approach – particularly for women.
    Bad surgery appears in several different forms: unnecessary, ineffective, negligent, poorly executed, or a combination of any of the above.
    There is no doubt that a significant proportion of unnecessary surgery is carried out in Australia. The debate has always been about how much. Since surgical practices in the US are similar to those in Australia, the American figures offer some perspective.
    In 1978 a US congressional subcommittee estimated that 2.4 million unnecessary operations were carried out in that year, at the cost of US$4 billion, and with a loss of 119,000 lives. Medicine on Trial quotes estimates which suggest that between 3 and 6 million unnecessary operations in 1982 resulted in between 40,000 and 83,000 deaths. There are no such figures or estimates currently available in Australia, but experts generally agree that between 15-25 per cent of all surgery is not medically indicated. If their estimates are applied to Australian figures the equation looks like this:
    Conservative estimate of the number of major surgical procedures performed in Australia in 1993-1994 = 1.8 million
    Overall mortality rate for all major surgery = 1.33 per cent
    Unnecessary surgery estimates = 15-25 per cent, and up to 50-60 per cent for some operations, 40-80 per cent and more for tonsillectomies and hysterectomies.
    Some 15-25 per cent unnecessary operations multiplied by 1.8 million operations equals 270,000 – 450,000 unnecessary operations. Multiply that figure by the 1.33 per cent mortality rate equals 3,500 – 6,000 Australians who may die in any one year as a consequence of unnecessary surgical procedures.
    BAD MEDICINE: Is the Health Care System Letting You Down? How Safe is Modern Medicine …. John Archer..1995
    NEANDERTHAL MEDICINE MEN
    BIRMINGHAM, 1995
    Medical chauvinists whose exploits are noted by colleagues like Dr Luisa Dillner. ‘When considering the attitude of male obstetricians and gynaecologists,’ she wrote in her column in the Guardian, ‘you have to remember they are predominantly surgeons. This makes them automatically autocratic. Many genuinely have difficulty with the concept that what’s yours isn’t necessarily theirs to remove.’
    Trust Me I’m (still) a Doctor… Dr Phil Hammond
    Womb snatching
    Besides cesarean, hysterectomy is the most likely operation you’ll face if you’re a women, even though up to 90 per cent could be unnecessary. Here’s how to avoid one. There is a joke among medical practitioners confronted with a woman suffering from gynecological problems. The diagnosis: she is suffering from CPU or Chronic Persistent Uterus. The solution: Hysterectomy.
    …. In fact, hysterectomy, or more correctly female castration, is now one of the most widely applied surgeries for women, second in some countries only to the cesarean. In the US, a woman has a one in three chance of having her uterus removed by the age of 60. In Britain, her chances are only slightly better at one in five. In Australia 2 in 5 women are coerced into a hysterectomy….
    These are the words of Sandra Simkin, from her book “The Case Against HYSTERECTOMY”, but is exactly how I felt after I was butchered of my 6 healthy female organs.
    “Writing to a woman police constable, I said: “To have your womb and ovaries taken out from you for no reason, or for little reason, has to be assault on a par with violent rape. It is a terrible and unwanted intrusion into a woman’s most private and sensate part of the body and, as with rape, the traumatic effects of it last for the rest of her life.”
    THE REDUNDANT WOMB: “A USELESS, BLEEDING ORGAN”
    The womb, or uterus, is another organ that doctors in Australia tend to remove from the (female) human body with great enthusiasm. At least half the medically insured women in Australia have had, or will have, a hysterectomy. It is the most common operation performed on women, and often it is done simply as a “precautionary” measure. The operation takes only 30 or 40 minutes. The rationale is simple:
    THE UTERUS HAS BUT ONE FUNCTION: REPRODUCTION. AFTER THE LAST PLANNED PREGNANCY THE UTERUS BECOMES A USELESS, BLEEDING, SYMPTOM-PRODUCING, POTENTIALLY CANCER-BEARING ORGAN AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE REMOVED.
    Such a course of action might be justified, if it were not for the fact that of every 1600 women who have the operation, one will die as a direct result of the procedure. Complications can also leave a patient permanently injured. Apart from all the usual risks associated with surgery, there is growing evidence that the uterus is not “useless” but produces hormones which protect women from heart attacks after menopause. Removing an otherwise healthy womb, far from protecting the woman’s life, may instead threaten it.
    Another important consideration is that many women experience severe depression after a hysterectomy, a state sometimes described as being like an exaggerated menopause. A number of studies have found that women who have hysterectomies are far more likely to need psychiatric treatment than other women.
    A hysterectomy may be justified – indeed, essential – in cases of cancer, and other serious diseases. But usually it is needless, a medical fashion gone completely out of control. In the Canadian province of Saskatchewan during the 1970’s, a deliberate effort was made to reduce the number of hysterectomies. A committee was established which included not only doctors, but a social worker, a political scientist, a systems analyst, and a medical student. The unlikely group compiled a list of indications they felt would justify a hysterectomy. The list was published; no coercive or disciplinary measures were imposed, but doctors knew they were under scrutiny. In four years, the proportion of unnecessary hysterectomies dropped from 23.7 per cent to 7.8 per cent. A similar, though less dramatic, fall (17 per cent in three years) occurred in New South Wales during the 1980s after a well-published campaign against unnecessary hysterectomies by the Doctors Reform Society.
    The non-medical reasons for hysterectomy include, of course, money.
    Some Doctors Make You Sick: The Scandal of Medical Incompetence…. Stephen Rice

    MORE MEDICAL CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
    An incredible percentage of the medicines doctors prescribe – possibly three out of five – simply don’t work. Many are described for purposes for which they were not intended. Far too many are prescribed in place of safer and more effective alternatives, and most of them are given to women.
    Hundreds of drugs are being marketed with the conclusive evidence that they will do no harm, and others would not even be on the market if… the manufacturers had not concealed evidence that they WILL do harm. Drugs that are relatively safe in some applications cause fetal abnormalities or mental retardation when they are prescribed – as they too often are – for pregnant women. An unknown number hold a long-term potential for inducing cancer of the breast, cervix, or other organs that may not become apparent until years later when those who have used them begin dying of their effects….
    MALE PRACTICE: How Doctors Manipulate Women…
    Dr Robert Mendelsohn…

    • You have quoted some great resources, Teresa! I may order some of those books. Over the years, I have seen women quote some old gyn textbooks such as “women can bear spaying.” It’s all so depressing and disgusting. In the U.S., 45% of women have a hysterectomy.

      It’s hard to get our message out to the public since so many hysterectomy forums “cancel” / censor those of us who try to warn women about the harms. All those forums come across as cheerleaders for hysterectomy. I am horrified by the number of young women having hysterectomies.

  2. Beware of gynaecologists who use the “cancer” word to trick or frighten women into unnecessary hysterectomies.

    These tactics are rampant and have been for decades used by greedy, unscrupulous surgeons to trick women into unnecessary surgeries…

    D&C’s, Hysteroscopies, colposcopies and cervix, hysterectomy and ovary removal are mainly a scam which keeps the money rolling in, and everyone of these procedures cause FAR MORE HARM THAN GOOD….

    • June – It really is sad and sickening how many women are railroaded into over-treatment by gynecologists, especially unnecessary hysterectomy and castration. There are cases when the other procedures you listed are warranted but all of those seem to be grossly overused too. For women who desire to have recommended gynecologic screenings (e.g., pap smears), they typically will be better off seeing their primary care physician instead of a gynecologist.

  3. Oh my God, I don’t know how I missed this article. My story is published on this site: My Hysterectomy Horror, so it is equally puzzling how this has been available since November and I didn’t see it. Maybe my second nervous breakdown and suicide attempt can account for it.

    I was wondering if anyone who was told they had a very slow growing, encapsulated bit of cancer in a uterine lining polyp began to wonder why one of many conservative treatments might not have sufficed; i.e., freezing, heat, laser removal, D & C etc. could not have been done. After removing everything (lymph nodes as well) and no sign of any cancer anywhere else was found, years later these thoughts have been haunting me. And to the woman who mentioned lymphedema–one year after the surgery I developed huge mushy lumps on my upper thighs and a really big one on my right inner thigh which makes it hard to walk. I am embarrassed to appear in shorts in public.

    A tiny spot of cancer (the report said “well differentiated/moderately differentiated .1 centimeter) and they go and remove everything? Does a melanoma on someone’s arm mean the whole arm needs amputation?

    Please reply if anyone has had a similar case and is wondering why such drastic measures were taken. I just need to know I’m not alone in my thinking. Note I am not referring to a uterine tumor of another type which grows deep in the muscle. That probably would necessitate removing the uterus, depending on tumor size. Thank you just for reading this.

    • Sharon – We have conversed via email. I’m sorry this was done to you. It does sound like you were overtreated which is the case for ~90% of hysterectomies and even more oophorectomies. I totally understand being haunted by this abuse. For me, it’s faded somewhat over the 11 years since my surgery but it will likely be with me to some degree forever. BTW – This article was originally published in October 2014 (stated at the end).

    • Sharon, I too feel I have been over treated with a total hysterectomy for a cancerous polyp. The histology report of the uterus showed no cancer present. I requested to keep my ovaries and cervix but was told removal of all sexual organs is NHS gold standard when cancer is diagnosed. It’s a conveyer belt approach with no respect for the damage that follows. There must be a way we can bring this to the fore and change medical practice.

  4. I recently had a minimally invasive surgery called Acessa, to remove a large fibroid. It’s is a newer alternative to hysterectomy. My regular OB offered to perform a hysterectomy because she did not have the qualifications or advanced training to offer alternative surgeries. The expert fibroid surgeon I saw for a second opinion gave me three choices. While I was contemplating each, he tried to discourage me from Acessa, the surgery that would keep my female organs intact and just remove the fibroid with heat. He tried to get me to opt for the more invasive surgery when it was not clinically necessary. He said “if I was your family.. I would have you get the partial hysterectomy” even after my cancer biopsy was negative and there is no history of ovarian cancer in my family.

    The Acessa worked successfully and I didn’t hesitate to tell him to his face the hysterectomy he recommended was not necessary afterwards. He was just looking for a larger paycheck at the end of the week. I wonder how many of his patients were told the same line and elected the surgery? Unfortunately, situations like these remind me of what my Orthomolecular doctor warned me of “Doctors are dangerous.”

    • Karen, I’m so glad you avoided hysterectomy and the Acessa ablation was successful. Is Acessa done by a radiologist or gynecologist? Do you know for a fact (based on imaging) that the fibroid has shrunk or was obliterated? Or are you basing success on reduced bleeding? I talked to a gynecologist at an event I attended and she said they cannot get insurance authorization for some of the procedures to treat fibroids because they consider them experimental. But some of these procedures have been around for quite awhile. I have to wonder if the ACOG’s lobbying efforts have kept these procedures under utilized so they can continue their lucrative overuse of hysterectomies.

      • Acessa was through a gynecologist, anyone interested can find an Acessa doctor through the Acessa website, the founder is Dr. Bruce Lee in LA. BCBS covered my Acessa, but not all states cover the procedure, CA does not covers it, but considering the success I would have paid out of pocket for it. My volume was greatly reduced to normal and remeasured through ultrasound, however this procedure only shrinks the fibroid. I did not have the bleeding problem, my fibroid was blocking my rectum. The overall success is skill dependent on doctor. The doctor evaluates risk factors including age, size of fibroid, location, and cancer history, there is always a risk of regrowth. Most OB’s do not have minimally invasive training and have a large enough patient load that will accept traditional methods that they’re doctors have been trained in medical school. Had I not gone on-line and researched the topic of fibroids, I would have had the hysterectomy. Until treatments like Acessa are taught in medical schools it will not be mainstream and be considered an “alternative”.

        • Thank you for sharing this information. Gynecology training is severely lacking. Residents must do at least 70 hysterectomies – http://www.acgme.org/Portals/0/PFAssets/ProgramResources/220_Ob_Gyn%20Minimum_Numbers_Announcment.pdf. Yet there are no miminum requirements for surgical removal of fibroids (myomectomy) nor any of the “ablative” fibroid procedures. Nor are there any requirements for removal of ovarian cysts (cystectomy). Many women lose ovaries unnecessarily when all that should be removed are the cysts. Removal of any part of the “reproductive” system (even one ovary) has been shown to increase risks for a number of health problems. In no other specialty are organs removed unnecessarily at such high rates.

  5. I look at the intersectionality of race, gender, poverty and nationality tied to the abuse of the Western system of economic exploitation, whether it is giant energy and resource thieves in other countries, or the Pharma-Industrial Military Complex-Finance-Med-Surveillance.

    Unfortunately, in other countries, women are abused relentlessly by the Big Med/Pharma thuggery.

    Here is a report:

    Patriarchal values at one level and gender bias at the other are pervasive in south Asian countries. Even after six decades of planned development, the incidence of women’s human rights in general and in particular sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) are being violated for different motives by different sections of the Indian society. Our studies and resultant social action commenced when we heard about women already experiencing poverty and who were further robbed off their bodies and life by conniving mechanisms in society through abuse of health insurance schemes. Most of these rural women were cheated to undergo hysterectomy due to their illiteracy and their vulnerability. Narratives and the accounts of the rural poor women victims clearly identify their poverty, illiteracy and status in the overall social fabric of the Indian society that went against them. These unwanted hysterectomies in Medak district in India highlighted the role of insurance, gender bias, lack of ethical conduct in the medical profession.

    Abstract: Hysterectomies and Violation of Human Rights: Case Study from India

    https://www.academia.edu/9573910/Hysterectomies_and_Violation_of_Human_Rights_Case_Study_from_India?auto=download

    or,

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/sarah-boseley-global-health/2013/feb/07/india-healthcare

    Our brothers and sisters in other countries, the so-called developing world, are the victims and guinea pigs for our country’s profit motive, and we as a society benefit by the exploitation of people outside this country’s borders — in everything we do.

    I go to my friend, Andre VLtchek to understand how numbed and propagandized the west is when it comes to other countries, our own country’s hand in the mess of the world, including the medical-chemical messes:

    “During my two-week stay in California I detected no remorse. When I showed and explained how millions have been killed by Western imperialism, people would say “oh how terrible!” Because, that is what they were trained to say. But there was no determination to change things, no true feelings.

    Wherever I went, I felt thoroughly out of place. I was expected to “fit”. I was told not to show images too shocking, as people were “very sensitive”! Eventually, I decided not to show any images at all. It was understood that I should be polite. While all I wanted was to shout insults to the faces of those self-righteous men and women, who were following that appalling Christian tradition: do some good while ignoring real evil, all in order to buy some credit before facing eternity.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/19/in-the-usa-i-cannot-write/

    • Yes, women are also being tricked into hysterectomies at alarming rates in India. But unlike in the U.S., they are usually incurring a large debt as a result hence “adding insult to injury.” Shame on all doctors who harm women through unnecessary hysterectomies and/or oophorectomies.

  6. I was tricked into a totally unnecessary radical hysterectomy and harmed irreparably at a teaching hospital on 2nd June 2005. I NEVER, EVER SUFFERED ANY GYNAECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS but I knew nothing about unscrupulous doctors who target unsuspecting women and trick them into these barbaric mutilations.. I WAS 100% THE VICTIM OF THE HYSTERECTOMY RACKET..

    • June, I’m sorry you were also a victim of these evil scammers! It pains me to hear so many women’s stories of this incredibly destructive scam. I can only hope that more women will find my articles before going into the operating (butcher) room.

    • Jane, I assume you’ve experienced lymphadema from a radical hysterectomy. I’m sorry to hear that. Did you have cancer? It would be great if you could write an article about lymphadema after radical hysterectomy. I’m aware of this after effect but don’t know much about it. You can contact the owner of the website if you’re interested in writing an article about it. Here’s the link to do that – https://www.hormonesmatter.com/write-for-hormones-matter/.

  7. Dear WS,

    I am so glad I found your post, I thought I was searching in vain for answers, after my hysterectomy I experienced numerous changes, weight gain, ageing more rapidly, facial features and skin texture changed, my figure changed. I experienced emotional episodes, irrational behaviour. Had my surgery in 2010, compared to photos of me and my energy levels, sex live, I have aged about 10 years in a 5 year period. My mother also went for her hysterectomy during 2012, she experience similar side effects. Are there any remedy for this rapid ageing, frizzy hair and weight gain?

    • Annele – I am sorry you as well as your mom are suffering the common after effects of hysterectomy! Were your ovaries removed or have they failed (which is fairly common after hysterectomy)? That can certainly amplify the after effects. And if this is the case, hormone “replacement” (although not a true replacement for our organs) may help stabilize the situation. It is a disgrace that so many women lose their organs unnecessarily and are left with worse health problems and a lesser quality of life than what led them to having the surgery in the first place. So few of these surgeries are truly necessary (only about 2% are done for cancer).

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