Woman, 38, who went in for colon surgery wakes up to learn doctor removed her WOMB without permission
A Canadian woman who underwent bowel repair surgery was shocked when she woke up to find doctors had removed her uterus.
The surgery, which was to repair a ruptured colon, led to the discovery of stage 3 colon cancer and a baseball-sized tumor in her uterus.
Doctors called to remove her uterus and cervix, leaving the 38-year-old infertile.
Devlynn Cyr, a former paramedic in Alberta, said: ‘I couldn’t come to terms with the hysterectomy because I thought, ‘Am I out of options now for children?’
During a procedure to repair her ruptured colon, Ms Cyr was found to have stage three colon cancer. Surgeons also discovered a tumor that had grown attached to her uterus
Devlynn Cyr is pictured with her husband Greg. The couple had wanted children and had previously suffered a miscarriage just months before her cancer ordeal began
Ms Cyr went to the local hospital for an ostomy, where doctors would make an opening in the abdomen to allow bodily waste to drain from the intestines.
When she woke up from surgery, she learned that doctors had to remove her uterus and cervix during a total hysterectomy after discovering that a tumor the size of a baseball had been “cemented” in her uterus.
Mrs. Cyr said her heart sank when she heard the news from her husband Greg. There is no indication yet whether the Cyrs plan to take legal action.
Leading up to the operation, Ms Cyr suffered from abdominal pain and constipation, which doctors had initially attributed to something else, such as Crohn’s disease.
Partway through the procedure to surgically repair a hole in the lining of her colon, doctors discovered she had stage three colon cancer.
Doctors later said her uterus and fallopian tubes were “like cement” because of the cancer and had to be removed.
Mrs Cyr was under anesthesia when the cancer was discovered and her husband Greg was given the news that the damage to her reproductive organs was irreversible.
Mr Cyr said: ‘Okay, so this is happening and this has become much more real,’ adding that he was worried his wife of six months would be ‘angry at me and resent me for having to make that decision.’ We had talked about having children.’
Devlynn was also upset when she learned that doctors failed to extract healthy eggs from her ovaries before removing her uterus.
She said: ‘Did they collect some eggs for me so I can have children in the future? Do they even think about these things?’
Ms Cyrs said in a TikTok video that has now been viewed 1.5 million times that she has undergone a “complete hysterectomy”, in which the uterus and cervix are involuntarily removed.
Ms Cyr will need to undergo long-term chemotherapy to beat her cancer. She will also have to undergo radiation treatment
The pain of losing the ability to give birth naturally was compounded with the knowledge that Devlynn will need to undergo long-term chemotherapy for her stage 3 colon cancer.
She told her followers on TikTok: ‘There is no hope for me to get out of chemotherapy unless I don’t want to survive this cancer.
“They told me that radiation is now something I need to do, given my family history: my father has had cancer twice and his mother has colon cancer.”
A person with a family history of colon cancer has about double the risk of getting it. People over fifty are also more vulnerable to the disease.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the US.
In 2023, an estimated 107,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed, along with 46,000 new cases of rectal cancer.
The rate of colon cancer is rising among younger adults, and scientists are still grappling with possible causes, including unhealthy lifestyle practices.
The American Cancer Society reported in March that the rate of colon cancer in people age 50 nationwide is now nearly 60 per 100,000.
By comparison, between 1975 and 1979 this rate was around 40 per 100,000, indicating a 50 percent increase in about 45 years.
About 43 percent of diagnoses occurred in people 45 to 49 years old.
Part of what makes colorectal cancer difficult to diagnose is its symptoms, which can often be attributed to other conditions.
Many younger patients are often misdiagnosed because symptoms can resemble other conditions, delaying treatment and reducing chances of survival.
A 2019 American Cancer Society survey found that more than two-thirds of colon cancer patients saw at least two doctors before receiving an accurate diagnosis, and some had to see as many as four doctors.
The ACS, an influential body that sets guidelines for appropriate care, decided just five years ago that it would revise its recommendation for colon cancer screening and lower the age from 50 to 45.
If colon cancer is caught early before it spreads to other parts of the body – stages one and two – it has a five-year survival rate of about 91 percent.
Stage three cancer means that cancer cells have been found in the lymph nodes in surrounding tissues, a diagnosis with a 72 percent five-year survival rate.
Once the cancer has spread further through the body, for example to the bones, liver or lungs, the survival rate drops to 14 percent.