Fibroids: Are They Serious?Q: My doctor says I have several small fibroid tumors. Are they serious?
A: You're not alone. Fibroids are common among women older than 40. These noncancerous, smooth muscle tumors can grow within the walls of the uterus, on top of the uterus, or in the uterine cavity. Also called leiomyoma (ly-oh-my-OH-mah), approximately 0.5 percent may be cancerous, but 99.5 percent of the time they are benign.
Fibroids can appear in clusters or individually, and they can range in size from microscopic to the size of a cantaloupe. They often go undetected but can cause several conditions, including:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy periods
- Urinary urgency and/or frequency
Published in Southwest Woman, Fall/Winter 2008