As I am in the healthcare field and interested in research (see below for a full list of the EndoMarch's goals), I'd like to look at: Medical and Nursing School Educational Institutes
"Even after numerous visits to their pediatricians, primary care physicians, gynecologists, school nurses, and emergency room practitioners, millions of women and girls with endometriosis, and chronic pelvic pain are still going undiagnosed for several years or are receiving grossly inadequate care. This is truly unconscionable and constitutes a national health crisis. Therefore, we would like to collaborate with our nation’s medical and nursing schools to launch endometriosis educational initiatives so that future physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can more readily recognize the symptoms of endometriosis and provide the appropriate care. We will also be reaching out to medical researchers to help us find cures and develop noninvasive tests for disorders that have been devastating millions of lives for thousands of years." http://www.millionwomenmarch2014.org/our-goals-2/
There is an enormous amount of material to cover in the medical profession and each disease can only be covered so thoroughly in the scholastic setting. I would like to make sure that endometriosis is one of the things covered, and, in the limited amount that it can be covered in medical schools, I would like to make sure that the information is the most current and up to date. Namely, I would like my health care professionals to know:
- The full spectrum of symptoms of endometriosis. Many women have symptoms beyond "period pain" and their physicians should be aware of them and know to include asking about: bowel and bladder symptoms (if the patient has been diagnosed with "IBS" which could actually be a symptom of endometriosis), low back, sciatic or leg pain, pain with exam or sex, comorbidities such as migraines or allergies (especially if they worsen with menses), the inflammatory response of endo, infertility, etc
- The latest theories of endometriosis pathophysiology. Sampson's theory of retrograde menstruation is not standing the test of time and many of factors such as genetic, immune, stem cells are coming to light. Studies on angiogenesis, specific cytokines, nerve development, prostaglandins are shedding new light on how endometriosis affects the body.
- The gold standard of treatment and to not delay it. The gold standard of treatment is surgical excision of endometriosis by an expert (Endometriosis takes on many appearances, has been shown to be present in "normal" looking tissue, has many hiding places, and can involve delicate areas such as the ureters and bowel, all of which are best handled by someone well adept in the removal.) Many doctors will treat symptoms (often without the surgical diagnosis even) with hormonal therapies. These might alleviate symptoms for a while, but have not been shown to stop the progression of endometriosis (development of adhesions, continuing pain, etc). Over time, women might need stronger hormonal therapies to suppress symptoms; these stronger hormonal therapies carry increased risk for adverse side effects, some irreversible. As a woman's pain continues, it sets up a pattern for chronic pain which can be more difficult to treat the longer the nerves are exposed to the noxious stimuli of endometriosis.
- The array of further problems produced by endometriosis and other conditions associated with it. After many years of pain, the pelvic muscles will often respond to the painful stimuli by becoming tightened and spasmodic (pelvic floor dysfunction). Interstitial cystitis is often associated with endometriosis.
I would like to see more physician's aware of and utilize adjunct therapies to help patients with comorbid conditions, such as pelvic floor disorder. Pelvic physical therapy would be one prime example. Encouraging a diet specifically to help endometriosis, exercise (such as yoga), and stress reduction management. The demand will in turn help to increase the supply.
It will not be possible for the above to be obtained without solid research. It is imperative to have larger based studies (and funding to support them). It would also be advantageous to have a definitive data pool for endometriosis- a pool that included only those truly diagnosed with endometriosis by surgical biopsy in order for the data to not be skewed. With hope, by bringing awareness to endometriosis and the impact it has on the lives it touches, it will in turn increase the demand for more and better research.
• To unite women and their supporters to take a stand against endometriosis
• To raise awareness about endometriosis and its effects on women and girls
• To educate and train members of the medical community, in order to promote early detection and improved treatment
• To find a cure for endometriosis, and to develop non-invasive diagnostic tests
• To improve health screenings for endometriosis among girls and young women in public schools
• To work with our government and congress to allocate funding for endometriosis
Goals: Zoomed InIn addition to the broad goal of simply raising awareness, we will be seeking change in the following four (4) sectors: