Fibroid Awareness Month 2022: Are uterine fibroids cancerous growths in one’s uterus? Doctor answers

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Jul 08, 2022 07:48 AM IST

Fibroid Awareness Month 2022: Is it impossible to get pregnant if one has fibroids? Are uterine fibroids cancerous growths in one’s uterus? Doctor dispels myths related to uterine fibroids. Read on to know more about this and seek timely treatment to stay healthy. 

July is marked by health experts as Fibroid Awareness Month as uterine fibroids are one of the commonest benign tumours of the reproductive tract found in women and about 40-77% of women may reportedly develop uterine fibroids at some point of their life but not all of these will cause any symptoms or complications. Fibroids are hormone dependant tumours that develop in response to the female hormones- estrogen and progesterone where in some women, the effect of these hormones leads to overgrowth of the uterine muscle tissue and thus causes the formation of fibroids.

Fibroid Awareness Month 2022: Are uterine fibroids cancerous growths in one’s uterus? Doctor answers (Twitter/SWHR)
Fibroid Awareness Month 2022: Are uterine fibroids cancerous growths in one’s uterus? Doctor answers (Twitter/SWHR)

This is supported by the observation that the fibroids are rarely diagnosed before puberty and are known to shrink in size after menopause and similarly, they are known to increase in size during pregnancy when the estrogen and progesterone content in the body is higher. There are a majority of women who have fibroids but fail to understand them and suffer in silence since there is still a lack of awareness regarding fibroids and many fail to seek timely medical attention.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Veena Aurangabadwala, Gynaecologist at Chembur's Zen Multispeciality Hospital, busted some myths related to uterine fibroids:

1. Myth: Uterine fibroids are cancerous growths in one’s uterus

Fact: This statement is false. As soon as a woman is diagnosed with fibroids, she tends to ask if fibroids are cancerous. Women should not panic as fibroids are predominantly benign growths and usually not associated with uterine cancer. However, the fibroids can hamper your ability to do the daily chores with ease. Only 0.3 % fibroids could be sarcomas, which are cancerous. Thus, it will be imperative for you to seek timely help. Do not neglect fibroids at all.

2. Myth: Fibroids can only be treated with hysterectomy

Fact: Earlier, hysterectomy was often the only option for women detected with uterine fibroids. Currently, due to technological advances, there are several minimally invasive alternatives available apart from the hysterectomy. Are you aware? Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is one of the minimally invasive options for a majority of women. This non-surgical procedure is done to tackle fibroids without removing the uterus. UFE is a good solution for those who wish to avoid surgery and a long recovery process. However, your treating doctor is the right person to decide which line of treatment suits you the best. You will need to follow all the instructions given by the doctor only.

3. Myth: It is impossible to get pregnant if one has fibroids

Fact: Do not panic! This is not at all true. Many patients tend to believe that there is a connection between fibroids and infertility. But not all fibroids take a toll on your fertility. Be at ease as a large number of women with fibroids go on to have healthy pregnancies.

4. Myth: Fibroids are commonly seen only in younger women

Fact: This is not at all true. Fibroids can be seen in women of every age group. It is not just limited to younger women. Many women have fibroids but they are not aware of their symptoms but remember that the risk of fibroids decreases after menopause due to low estrogen levels.

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