Fibroid Tumors Do Not Necessarily Mean Cancer!

Fibroids are sometimes undetected noncancerous masses that grow in the uterus. There are several types of fibroids and it is common for women to have many fibroids of varying size during her childbearing years. Fibroids develop when the body begins to produce estrogen and shrink or disappear when women enter menopause.  Fibroids are painless most of the time. However 30% of all women who develop do have some indication that they exist in their body. These symptoms can be very mild to very severe.

These tumors are classified according to their location within the uterus. There are four primary types. Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus and may interfere with nearby organs possibly causing bladder trouble. They grow very large in size. Intramural fibroids develop between the muscles in the uterus causing very heavy menstrual flow, pelvic pain, back pain, frequent urination and pressure. This is also the most common type of fibroid mass.  Submucosal fibroids develop underneath the uterine lining and can cause heavy and prolonged menstrual periods. This is the least common type of fibroid tumor.  A pedunculated fibroid grows on a stalk either inside or outside the uterus.  Multiple fibroids in all women are common and one woman can have all types of fibroids at the same time.

Fibroid masses are generally discovered by your doctor during routine pelvic exams. At this point a CT scan or an ultrasound is performed to determine the correct diagnosis.  Unless the tumors are causing problems usually they are not treated or removed.  They may become a problem for women trying to get pregnant and force removal. Heavy and extended bleeding period may also precipitate the need for treatment. Size and location of the mass will determine whether or not to treat or leave them alone.

Last resort treatment is a hysterectomy, which is removal of the uterus, not usually an option chosen by women who want to have children. A myomectomy is a surgical procedure where the tumors are removed through incisions made by the surgeon. It is more dangerous and takes longer than a hysterectomy. But you can still get pregnant. Myolysis is a procedure which used electric shock to shrink the fibroids.