An alert to all women


Far Too Many Hysterectomies Still Being Performed


By Robert Bazell - NBC News Correspondent

" NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - As many as 70% of hysterectomies performed in the US may be recommended inappropriately, results of a recent study suggest. The hysterectomy -- a removal of the uterus -- is the second most common major operation that women get and ``there are significant concerns among researchers and the public that it might be overused,'' according to study co-author Dr. Michael S. Broder of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues. The researchers looked at nearly 500 women who had hysterectomies that were not the result of emergency or cancer. Operations were performed in 1 of 9 medical groups in Southern California, over a 2-year period. About 70% of cases ``were judged to be recommended inappropriately,'' the investigators report."


Hysterectomy Hysteria

By Sherrill Sellman

Author of "Hormone Heresy"

When members of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology met in 1971 their meeting hotly debated the issue of hysterectomies. The overwhelming conclusion regarding whether every woman who is finished with childbearing should have a hysterectomy was summed by gynaecologist Ralph W. White, M.D. He expressed the members' prevailing attitude of respect for the female womb by proclaiming: "It's a useless, bleeding, symptom-producing, potential cancer-bearing organ".1

It's unfortunate that such outdated views persist to the present day. When it comes to women and their reproductive organs, hysterectomies are usually the most popular solution for a range of female problems. How popular? In the U.S., hysterectomy is the most common major non- obstetrical procedure performed on women (caesareans are the most popular) with over 600,000 performed each year even though most of the 'female problems" are medically trivial. One out of three women will have had a surgical menopause before sixty years of age - a hysterectomy that includes removal of the ovaries. To date about 20 million American women have had their uteruses removed. In Europe, the proportion is only one seventh, perhaps because medicine is socialised in several European countries and there is less of a profit motive. 2

However, with the expected arrival of a huge number of baby boomers about to enter menopause, Dr. Stanley West, noted infertility specialist, chief of reproductive endocrinology at St. Vincent's Hospital, New York and author of Hysterectomy Hoax, has predicted that the statistics will soon show that up to 60 % of women in the US will have a hysterectomy by the age of sixty.

In Australia, it is estimated that at least four out of every ten women will have an hysterectomy by the time they turned sixty-five. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has reported that the total number of hysterectomies performed in 1994-1995 was 36, 817. There are some locations in Australia that pose a greater risk for keeping female reproductive organs intact. John Archer, author of Bad Medicine, has noted that women in the Hunter region near Newcastle had a 36% higher chance of losing their uterus than others fortunate enough to live elsewhere.4 It seems that the hysterectomy options coincide more with the particular inclinations and surgical abilities of local gynaecologists rather than medical imperatives.

The percentage of hysterectomies which are truly necessary is subject to some debate. According to Dr. West, " more than 90 percent of hysterectomies are unnecessary. Worse still, the surgery can have long-lasting physical, emotional and sexual consequences that may seriously undermine a woman's health and well-being".5 All authorities agree agree, however, that 90 percent of the procedures are "elective", that there are alternatives in at lest 90 percent of cases and that less than 10 percent of the operations are in fact medically necessary. Of the 110,000 women that the Hysterectomy Education and Resources Foundation, based in Pennsylvania have counselled and referred to board-certified gynaecologists for second opinions regarding a recommended hysterectomy, 98 percent of them discovered that they did not need hysterectomies after all.

A note from the reporter

We wish to further inform you that according to our understanding and research many female disorders such as cysts and fibroids are mainly caused by the (over) consumption of animal fat, dairy products, butters and oily foods in combination with all kind of products and drinks that contain refined sugar and/or artificial sweeteners..

For a more natural diet and how to prepare your daily food we invite you to visit our Paramhamsa page section with food and recipes or send us an e-mail for more suggestions.

The Light Network team

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