The Center for Endometriosis Care (CEC) in Atlanta, Georgia, is calling for increased recognition and better support of people living with endometriosis throughout March, which is also Endometriosis Awareness Month.
CEC is a Center of Excellence in advanced Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and a recognized Center of Expertise in Endometriosis, founded in 1991 by Robert B. Albee Jr. MD, an endometriosis specialist. The center’s care team includes board-certified laparoendoscopic excision (LAPEX) surgeons and specialists. CEC was one of the first heat centers to focus on the treatment of endometriosis, which currently affects nearly 176 million women across the globe, according to the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.
Endometriosis is characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, causing pain, inflammation, painful intercourse, debilitating menstrual cramps, gastrointestinal difficulties and urinary tract infections. It can, in more severe cases, result in infertility and difficulties in supporting a fetus. Patients can require complex, multidisciplinary care to efficiently treat the disease.
The disease is often misunderstood and even stigmatized, and misinformation regarding the condition contributes to a lack of proper diagnosis and effective care, leaving patients feeling isolated and frustrated, the CEC says in a press release. The center believes that positive change can come through targeted public health campaigns in the media and in schools.
“I would rather treat all individuals with endometriosis at an early stage and avoid bowel resections, bladder resections or hysterectomy — something I really think is attainable. More doctors should not be scared to be brave and take the chance that a young patient may have endometriosis — and save them years of suffering,” Dr. Ken Sinervo, CEC’s medical director, said in the release. “Knowledge is power. You have to be your own advocate,” he added, calling for a greater dialogue and asking patients to share their stories and experiences.
CEC is providing a platform for this open communication, featuring narratives submitted by patients on its website during March.
“We’ve got to allow the endometriosis community’s voice to be heard,” said CEC program director, Heather Guidone. “We believe we can strive towards alleviating the culture of menstrual misinformation through behavior changes, encouraging research, expanding fundamental components of management, increasing authoritative awareness and reducing costs through improvement and standardization of care for those in need.”
Laparoendoscopic excision is a surgical technique used to remove endometrial implants without damaging surrounding tissue.