WHAT ARE UTERINE FIBROIDS?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors. In simple words uterine fibroids are non-cancerous muscle tumors. Uterine fibroids are not at al related to cancer.
UTERINE FIBROIDS LOCATION
Uterine cancers attack the main reproductive organ – the uterus. Uterine fibroids remain attached to the uterus wall. Uterine fibroids can also develop within the uterine wall. Uterine fibroids are also known as Myoma, Fibromyoma, and Leiomyoma.
UNDERSTANDING CELLS, TISSUES, ORGANS AND TUMORS
Cells are the basic units of our lives. New cells are born when the old ones die out. These new-born normal cells divide and grow to form tissues. Tissues of the same kind combine to form our organs.
Mentionably, our bodies need a constant refurbishment of such new cells. But at times this automatic process (of cells taking birth as some die) gets a jolt. During such crucial junctures, the tumors take control of certain parts of our bodies.
Therefore, tumors are mass of extra tissue cells. They appear as abnormal growth mass of the cells.
TUMORS: BENIGN & MALIGNANT
First and foremost, benign tumors are not cancerous and are not life threatening.
Second, malignant or cancerous tumors are life-threatening.
Third, benign tumors can be easily removed by the surgeon.
Fourth, the benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors do.
Fifth, benign tumors rarely reform once they are removed. But malignant tumors can return.
BENIGN CONDITIONS OF THE UTERUS
The benign conditions of the uterus are fibroids, Endometriosis and Endometrial hyperplasia.
Fibroids: The uterine fibroids are uncannily common. They grow in the uterine muscles. They occur mainly in women between their forties and fifties. Many fibroids may appear simultaneously. Fibroids never degenerate into cancer. The fibroids become smaller and disappear after a woman reaches menopause.
Hence no treatment is required for fibroids. Fibroids can stay within the body without symptoms. However, fibroids can lead to frequent urination, excessive vaginal discharge, and bleeding. Such complications appear if the uterine fibroids appear near any organs. Doctors advice is must for any patient suffering from such symptoms.
Mentionably, the patients suffering from uterine fibroids are asked to go for surgeries if the fibroids put pressure on the important organs. Surgeries are suggested if the uterine fibroids can be painful.
Endometriosis: Endometriosis is another benign state affecting the uterus. Mostly women in their forties and especially those who were never pregnant are affected by this benign tumor. Endometriosis develops when the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus and spreads on to the organs nearby. Endometriosis can cause excessive bleeding from the vagina, painful menstrual periods, and infertility (ability to get pregnant). The fact is that Endometriosis cannot be cancerous. Endometriosis is generally treated with surgery or hormones.
Endometrial hyperplasia: Endometrial hyperplasia takes place when cells increase in numbers in the uterine linings. It is another form of benign tumor. But, at times, endometrial hyperplasia can become cancerous. The symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia are bleeding in the post-menopause phase, bleeding between two successive menstruations and heavy periods. Women beyond 40 years of age are affected by endometrial hyperplasia. As preventive measures, the patients are advised to go for either progesterone (hormonal treatment) or hysterectomy (uterus removal). Periodical follow-up tests are also necessary after any of these procedures to obviate the possibility of this benign tumor turning cancerous.
As opposed to these three forms of benign tumors, the malignant tumors are cancerous. Hence malignant tumors are dangerous and pose threats to life. Malignant tumors even penetrate into the lymphatic system or the bloodstream. These malignant tumors not only spread (metastasize) very fast to other organs but also permanently harm the vital organs.
UTERINE FIBROID SYMPTOMS
The uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors and quite common. Uterine fibroids can leave diverse effects on the patients. The woman having uterine fibroids can feel long durations of pelvic pressure at times accompanied by pain. Uterine fibroids may also lead to infertility or miscarriage. Moreover, uterine fibroids can cause heavy menstruation (periods).
WHEN DO UTERINE FIBROIDS DEVELOP?
One woman out of every four is susceptible to uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids appear between the post-puberty productivity stage and the pre-menopausal phase. The vulnerable age-group period is from 30 to 50 years. Notably, women below 20 years do not suffer from uterine fibroids.
THE BEST WAY TO TACKLE UTERINE FIBROIDS
Tackle the uterine fibroids in the easiest way: Don’t take estrogen after menopause. The uterine fibroids will shrink by themselves.
THE MOST VULNERABLE SECTION
Studies have found that that the section most vulnerable to uterine fibroids are the African-American womenfolk.
DIAGNOSING UTERINE FIBROIDS
Any health care provider can diagnose uterine fibroids through a simple routine checkup. To confirm the presence of uterine fibroids, the patients may have to go for ultrasound test.