Fibroid tumors

Fibroid tumors are non-cancerous lumps which are usually found in the uterus of women aged between 30 to 40 years. Due to their solid and fibrous nature, these tumors are called fibroid tumors. In most cases fibroid tumors grow slowly as a single chunk combined of multiple masses and the growth has no symptoms whatsoever until they become large enough to cause problems. Some of the tumors are so small that they cannot be observed with the naked eye and require microscopic investigation, whereas in other cases, these can be as large as grapefruits or even occupy the complete abdominal area because of their volume. The largest reported fibroid tumor ever recorded was a solid chunk that weighed 140 pounds.

Although doctors and specialists still speculate about the specific causes of fibroid development, there are indications which clearly point to a connection between the presence of estrogen and the growth of fibroid tumors. For example, 70 percent of fibroid patients are pregnant women who have high levels of estrogen present in their blood. On the other hand, women having prior cases of fibroid tumor experience a shrink or complete disappearance of the tumor after menopause, when the body stops producing estrogen.

Types of Fibroid Tumors:
Submucous Fibroids: These usually grow just under the lining of the uterus and can cause problems in menstruation and severe pain due to their movement in the pelvic region.

Intramural Fibroids: Intramural fibroids are round-shaped tumors which often enlarge the uterus because of their growth on the uterine wall.

Subserous Fibroids: These are found in the outer uterus wall and have no symptoms until they are fully grown, at which point they begin to interfere with the functions of other organs.

Pedunculated Fibroids: Subserous fibroids often grow peduncles which become large and twisted, resulting in severe pain.

Interligamentous Fibroids: These tumors grow between the ligaments of the abdominal region and can lead to a complicated condition which cannot be treated without hindering the supply of blood to other organs present within the abdominal region.

Parasitic Fibroids: These are the rarest form of fibroids which are attached to other organs inside the abdomen.

A woman is usually diagnosed with fibroids during her annual gynecological exam. In most cases doctors feel the growth of a mass when actually looking something else in the abdominal area, and in other situations, a patient can never be diagnosed with fibroid tumors if he/she does not exhibit any of the symptoms associated with them. An ultrasound scan often follows when a physician detects such a mass.

Only 25 percent women report symptoms such as unusual bleeding and pain during menstruation and swollen abdomens. When fibroids grow larger they result in swollen abdomen and often cause symptoms like frequent urinations and uncontrollable bladders. Further developments in growth can lead to constipation and acute pains in the back.

Treatment of Fibroids:
Surgery options of myomectomy and hysterectomy are recommended when the symptoms reach an intense point like severe bleeding during menstruation, leading to anemia and intolerable pain due to the increased pressure of fibroids or when the fibroid position is likely to damage surrounding organs.

Myomectomy involves the surgical process of removing the tumor without affecting the woman’s ability to conceive. Although, it can be considered to be a safe process, fibroids can often grow back after myomectomy. However, it is possible for a woman to undergo repeated surgery, but this would eventually affect the walls of the uterus making them thick.

Hysterectomy is the surgical option of removing the uterus completely, and is often recommended when the problem cannot be solved by any other process. Mothers who are not planning to have more children can undergo this surgical procedure without a second thought, but for others, it is wiser to weigh available options.

Last updated on Apr 1st, 2010 and filed under Cancer Research. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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