Among the most painful and dangerous of female disorders is the fibroid tumour of the uterus. In part, the danger is psychological rather than physical. The increased incidence of cancer together with a wide publicity campaign has made the public highly cancer-conscious. For this reason, the discovery of almost any tumour on the body will generally strike terror into the heart of the strongest person. Thus the relatively common fibroid tumour which attacks the uterus is often mistaken for a malignant tumour (cancer), and the resultant shock is almost as destructive as the growth itself.
Since the possibility of cancer always exists where an unnatural growth is discovered, it is important that the patient be immediately examined. Time is essential, since medical science has made great strides in the treatment of cancers which have been detected in an early stage. Learn these signs of possible cancer by heart:
- Constant bleeding despite efforts to staunch the flow.
- Repeated and severe attacks of indigestion.
- Sudden growth or change in shape of a mole, birthmark, etc.
- Discolouration of stool (bowel movement).
- Painful or sore lump or spot on or beneath the skin which refuses to heal.
As for the- fibroid tumour of the uterus, this may be the size of a pea or smaller and may grow to the size of a lemon or larger. Though it originates in the uterus, the tumour may grow into the uterine cavity during its maturation.
As the tumour develops the uterus becomes knobby and enlarged. Pressure of the growth upon the bladder may bring pain and increased urination. Conversely, fibroid tumours often induce constipation through pressure upon the rectum. Haemorrhage is a frequent tumour warning. The existence of a fibroid tumour within the uterus is often a cause of natural abortion (miscarriage).
Such growths were treated through natural baths, diet, wet wraps and therapeutic gymnastics. A daily lukewarm (77° to 82°) bath was prescribed with cold compresses to be applied to the vagina at bedtime. Sexual intercourse and other activities which might aggravate the condition were strictly forbidden. As in most instances, my regimen for fibroid tumours also involved the Return to Nature Diet. A half pack (abdomen to feet) was applied for one hour each day and thigh and spinal douches (pressure baths) were prescribed three times weekly.
Exercises (therapeutic gymnastics) were provided for the patient, though sports which provided entertainment and a lift to the morale were always preferred to ordinary exercise.
Thus, while the bicycle exercise (in which the patient lies upon her back and lifts the body from the waist, propelling the legs as though bicycling) proved effective in treating tumours of the uterus, actual bicycling was encouraged. In like manner, if the patient acknowledged a fondness for rowing, this sport was prescribed rather than a similar exercise such as sit-ups (in which the patient lies flat, hands locked behind head, and lifts and lowers the body from waist to head without shifting the feet).
Other exercises recommended were trunk turning (from an upright position, hands behind head, the body is twisted from extreme right to extreme left and back again without moving the feet); full knee bending, toe touching and the scissors exercise (from prone position raise legs and then move slowly apart and together as though a scissors).
Since fibroid tumours may exist for many years without making themselves known to the patient, and since tumours of the uterus are particularly common among women at the menopause (change of life), it would seem a wise precaution if every woman adopted much of this programme from the age of forty onwards.