Washington, DC - Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) today released a statement following reports that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) plans to review whether gynecologists should be conducting more cancer screening before common procedures such as hysterectomies.
“American women undergoing surgery deserve to have all the facts. I am disturbed to hear that current guidelines in American gynecology may not be enough to detect cancer before women undergo surgery. The gynecology specialty should be making their best attempt to identify women at risk of having unknown uterine cancers – such as the one Dr. Amy Reed succumbed to. The incidence of cancer presented in the Green Journal study are much too high to comfortably accept. I look forward to working with Director Redfield to increase vigilance on any procedure that might lead to cancer spread or upstaging.”
Fitzpatrick recently sent a letter (attached) to the CDC Director Robert Redfield asking the CDC to “consider whether the gynecological field should place a more stringent effort on using tissue biopsy to identify the American women who are at risk.”
A study released by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (The Green Journal) found that about 1 in 50 out of 24,076 women who had hysterectomies for presumed benign reasons turned out to have a gynecological cancer that wasn’t suspected or known prior to the surgery. The risk rose significantly for women over the age of 55.
The family of Dr. Amy Reed, who spearheaded the public awareness campaign on unsafe medical devices, worked closely with Fitzpatrick to alert the CDC about this deadly women’s health hazard.
The CDC issues guidelines based on scientific findings on a wide range of public health matters, including childhood vaccination schedules, opioid drug prescriptions, and infection prevention. While the public health agency isn’t a regulatory body, its guidelines are widely followed by the medical community.