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Fibroid Tumors- What are they?

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Published on May 8, 2009

What are Fibroids?:
Fibroids are benign growths in the uterus. Depending on their location, symptoms of fibroids may be heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, or pressure on the bladder, bowels or back. Fibroids are the most common benign tumor in humans, affecting 40% of women over 40 years of age. They are the reason for one third of all hysterectomies [removal of the uterus] performed each year in the United States. Slightly larger numbers of African American women are affected with fibroids, but they cause suffering for women of all ages and ethnic groups.

Symptoms of Fibroids:
Uterine fibroids cause different symptoms depending on the fibroids size and position within the uterus. Fibroids may be within the wall, where they are called intramural fibroids. They can be outside the uterus, where they are termed subserosal fibroids. If the fibroids are within the cavity of the uterus they are referred to as submucous fibroids.

Submucous fibroids often cause heavy bleeding. Such fibroids need not be large to cause life threatening bleeding. Menstrual bleeding may be very heavy, or a patient may have bleeding outside of the regular cycle of period bleeding. Such fibroids may also cause a woman who is pregnant to miscarry.

Subserous and intramural fibroids often cause pain and pressure in the pelvic area. Patients complain that their fibroids cause them to urinate often, and not completely empty their bladder. Similarly, fibroids in this position may cause pressure on the rectum leading to constipation. When the fibroids grow large enough, they can press on the ureters leading from the kidneys. This can lead to kidney problems. Back pain has also been noted with fibroids outside the uterus.

If the fibroids are on a stalk, a pedunculated fibroid, they may also twist on themselves and become necrotic. Inside the endometrial cavity, a pedunculated fibroid may pass through the cervix.

Many fibroid symptoms may mimic other diseases in the uterus. Fibroids are very seldom cancerous. However the symptoms of fibroids may also be the symptoms of a malignancy. For example, a woman with heavy menstrual bleeding in her 40s may be at equal risk of having endometrial cancer. Even if a woman has a history of fibroids, she should not assume that the vaginal bleeding is coming from the fibroids.

Also, pressure in the pelvic cavity, may be a symptom of ovarian cancer, as well as fibroids. If you have symptoms which are not normal for you, contact your health care giver as soon as possible.

Please checkout...http://www.fibroids.com

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