Topic

Health

883 petitions

Update posted 8 hours ago

Petition to Scott Gottlieb MD, Jeff Shuren, Sybill Storz, Managing Director, Hal Lawrence, William Maisel MD

Health Alert: Many Women Have Died Unnecessarily Because Dangerous Cancers of the Uterus and Ovaries Are Being Spread using MORCELLATORS. Stop MORCELLATION in Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery.

Friends of the Public, Many women have been harmed and have died prematurely or unnecessarily because of a routine but avoidable gynecological practice known as MORCELLATION. This world-wide practice has devastated many families for well over two decades now. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year. By the age of 70, one out of every three American women will have had a hysterectomy. About 90% of these surgeries are done for what is presumed to be a benign condition called fibroids. More and more of these surgeries are done with minimally invasive techniques.  Usually, to get the uterus out of the body using the "minimally invasive" technique, it is cut into small pieces with a machine called a morcellator.  However, a devastating problem happens if in fact the woman did NOT have fibroids – but if she actually had cancer.  Unfortunately, the tests that are done before a hysterectomy do not identify these cancers well.  Many gynecologists don't even bother getting any tests. In fact, morcellating cancer spreads the cancer inside the woman’s body.   This is called ‘up staging’ the cancer.  It is important to understand: 1) The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months. 2) Only 15% of woman who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years. 3) Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.  This is an avoidable disaster. This problem has been recognized for more than two decades.  A review of the literature, by the Food and Drug Administration, revealed that 1 in 350 women who go for fibroid surgery actually have sarcoma.  This means that everyday 2-5 women in the US – and more around the world are susceptible to having a deadly cancer spread because of morcellation. This catastrophic problem has happened in my family and we are fighting to stop this dangerous activity called morcellation.  A chance of 1 in 350 for such a devastating outcome is much too high to accept.  Women should be told the truth and the practice should stop. Please help us bring an end to spreading cancer with morcellation.  This is a totally AVOIDABLE practice.  People need to understand their options, which include hysterectomy through a mini-lapartomy incision or trans-vaginally – but – up until recently, most women never heard anything about morcellation or about the possibility of cancer upstaging. And, if they do, this risk is down-played by most minimally invasive gynecologists. We can tell you based on our experience, when cancers are spread by morcellation, the outcomes can be devastating - because the cancer is upstaged. We need your help. Please sign our petition so we can get the word out.  We want the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this "standard of care" by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation. For more information and original references see: http://journals.lww.com/oncology-times/blog/onlinefirst/pages/post.aspx?PostID=188 ) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23189178) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21565389). The attached video below shows an example of morcellation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPkKw0j-aXE The following companies manufacture and distribute uterine morcellator devices: 1) ETHICON: Gynecare morcellator 2) Storz: Rotocut Morcellator 3) Richard Wolf Medical Instrumentation Company 4) LiNA: LiNA Xcise Cordless Laparoscopic Morcellator 5) Blue Endo MOREsolution Tissue Morcellator 6) Pneumoliner Power Morcellation System by Olympus Corporation. Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci Robot deserves special mention, as the frequency of robotic hysterectomies performed by minimally invasive gynecologists is currently on the rise across the United States. Note that Intuitive Surgical builds and markets the DaVinci robot, which is not itself a "morcellator". However, use of the DaVinci robot almost invariably appears to require that the uterus be minced up, or morcellated, into smaller pieces inside the woman's belly cavity in order to extract from the abdomen. A clear example is shown in the following YouTube video of DaVinci being used to perform a robotic hysterectomy and manually morcellating the uterus using the endo-wrist component of the robot (morcellation is being performed at minute 5:30 of the video).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6luiX6UQmg  Without morcellation using equipment manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, robotic hysterectomies would, likely, not be possible using the DaVinci Robot. It is noteworthy that the DaVinci robot does not appear to have a readily available warning label advising against its use to morcellate tumors with malignant potential inside the body. The company's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Myriam Curet, a surgeon herself, has been informed and advised of this severe hazard in the use of DaVinci for robotic hysterectomy and the absence of a readily available warning label.

Hooman Noorchashm
95,332 supporters
Update posted 15 hours ago

Petition to Department of Justice

Tell the Department of Justice to stop criminalizing safe injection sites

Across rural America, people are suffering with opioid addiction, but they aren’t alone. Cities are impacted too. Despite threats from the Department of Justice, the former governor of Pennsylvania and public health advocates opened the nation’s first ever safe injection site in Philadelphia. Just last year, 1,275 people in Philadelphia died of opioid overdoses - the highest rate anywhere in America. Safe injection sites can save lives while offering those struggling with addiction a window to recovery. Tell Deputy Director of the Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein to stop criminalizing safe injection sites. Philadelphia non-profit, Safe House, opened the first medically supervised safe injection site. Those struggling with opioid addiction bring their own drugs and administer it themselves, but under medical supervision. It’s controversial, but it saves lives by preventing overdose deaths. Philadelphia isn’t alone, cities across the U.S. are preparing to open safe injection sites as a way to save lives. But the Department of Justice is threatening these cities with legal action if they open these necessary facilities. Tell the Department of Justice to empower states and cities to deal with the opioid crisis. Safe injection sites open the door to rehabilitation instead of incarceration for those suffering with drug addiction. In 2017, 72,287 people died of opioid and related drug overdoses nationwide. These deaths could have been prevented. Safe injection sites offer a second chance for addicts and their families. Tell Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein to stop criminalizing addiction. Opioid addiction is a national health crisis. Criminalizing these sites will only make the opioid crisis harder to address, potentially discouraging people from seeking help for addiction. Lives are on the line. The Department of Justice needs to allow cities and states the freedom to deal with the opioid crisis. Tell Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein to stop criminalizing people seeking help for addiction. Safe injection sites can save lives.

Campaigns Lab
144 supporters
Update posted 17 hours ago

Petition to House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health, Frank Pallone Jr., Joseph P. Kennedy III

Tell the House Subcommittee on Health to make PrEP a part of preventative care

There’s a proven way to prevent new cases of HIV, it’s called PrEP. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced that PrEP (aka: Truvada) should be offered by doctors as a major form of HIV prevention. But there’s a huge hurdle to getting on PrEP - the cost. Without insurance, a 30-day supply of PrEP can cost roughly $1,700. Even with insurance, the costs can be prohibitive. But the House Subcommittee on Health can do something about it, they can make PrEP a part of preventative care. This would mean patients could get PrEP for free from their insurance, no matter the cost. Tell the House to make PrEP a free and essential part of preventative care. The Task Force found that many physicians aren’t offering PrEP for HIV prevention because of the high cost. Once completed, their report will be going to the House Subcommittee on Health and could help expand existing coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but HIV prevention should go further. An estimated 15% of people with HIV don’t know they have it. In the U.S., HIV rates are actually increasing among Latino and African American men. Southern states had half of all new HIV cases in 2016. With novel preventative drugs like PrEP, countless lives could be saved. Demand the House make PrEP an essential part of preventative care. In the U.S., 1.2 million people are at high risk of contracting HIV, but only about 80,000 of them had access to PrEP in 2016. That same year, there were 40,000 new cases of HIV in the United States. If high risk people use PrEP everyday, it can reduce their chances of getting HIV from 70-90%. Lives are at stake. Tell the House Subcommittee on Health to make PrEP an essential part of preventative care. No one should lose a friend or relative to complications with HIV/AIDS. Tell the House to make PrEP free.

Will Scheffer
1,231 supporters
Update posted 17 hours ago

Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Gavin Newsom, Boeing, Senator Henry Stern, Barbara Lee, Mohsen Nazemi, Julia Brownley

No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab

When my daughter Grace Ellen was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, at age four, I thought that our family had the worst, most devastating luck. But after spending months in the hospital with her, we learned that she was one of over 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America. Sign to demand that incoming governor Gavin Newsom push the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to completely clean the Santa Susana Field Lab and prevent any more children from getting cancer. Grace Ellen’s form of cancer was incredibly aggressive. At age four she was put on several clinical trials, had ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy, and spent two years fighting her cancer. A year and a half later her cancer came back. She’s been addicted to morphine, unable to eat or drink, and had to fight for her life in the hospital isolation floor. Her childhood was stolen from her, and it haunts me to know her cancer might have been avoidable. She, like the other 50 children, grew up within 20 miles the Santa Susana Field Lab, land which was developed in the 1940s to conduct nuclear research. In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history – and it was completely covered up for years. Our community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, 20% higher invasive breast cancer rates, we have the reports to prove it. It is the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s job to clean up this mess. They know our children are sick and dying, but they aren’t taking any meaningful action against those who own the land – Boeing, NASA and the DOE. I will protect my children even if I have to tear down mountains with my bare hands – and I am one of many parents fighting for our kids. To win this, we need our future governor to push the corrupt Department of Toxic Substances to clean up this disaster once and for all. Will you join us? 

Melissa Bumstead
540,015 supporters