The second annual Slay Sarcoma 5k Run/Walk will be held October 17 in Yardley, Pennsylvania to create awareness about leiomyosarcoma and to raise money for needed research. Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is part of a broad group of extremely rare cancers known as sarcomas, which are aggressive and often resistant to common cancer treatments including chemotherapy and radiation.
Surgeons performing simple, non-invasive fibroid surgical procedures sometimes utilize a surgical tool called a power morcellator, which cuts up uterine tissue along with undetected leiomyosarcoma, spreading the cancer and significantly worsening the outcome. For some women, morcellation dramatically upstaged their cancer from a potentially treatable Stage 1 cancer to an incurable Stage 4, as was the case with physician and mother of six Amy Reed.
In October of 2013, Amy Reed underwent hysterectomy surgery for what her doctors believed were uterine fibroids. Eight days later she was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, just a year after the birth of her youngest child. Because her surgeon thought Reed had a simple fibroid, she cut up the cancer inside of Amy with a morcellator. To counter the effect of morcellation, Reed was required to undergo a cytoreduction and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Recently, her LMS returned to her spine, requiring more surgery and radiation.
Campaign to Ban Morcellation Underway
Since then, Dr. Reed’s husband, cardiothoracic surgeon Hooman Noorchashm, MD, PhD, has led a campaign calling for a ban on morcellation, twice petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and meeting numerous times with members of Congress and the Senate. On April 17, the FDA announced that it discourages the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in most hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures because of the risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue.
Those who cannot participate in the run/walk may donate or register as virtual runners. All donations go to LMS research and are tax deductible.