Fibroid tumors are benign (non-cancerous) growths that appear on the muscular wall of the uterus. They range in size from microscopic to masses that fill the entire abdominal cavity, in some cases, as large as a five month pregnancy. Uterine fibroids can affect women of all ages, but are most common in women ages 40 to 50.
What symptoms should you be alert for?
While not cancerous, uterine fibroids can cause problems. Depending on size, location and number of fibroids, common symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain and pressure
- Excessive bleeding, including prolonged periods and passage of clots, which can lead to anemia.
- Abdominal swelling
- Pressure on the bladder, leading to frequent urination
- Pressure on the bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
The Fibroid Treatment Collective (FTC) (http://www.fibroids.com), has launched an annual observance called Fibroid Awareness Week scheduled this year for April 19th – 23rd, which is dedicated to education about fibroids that affect upwards of 50 percent of all women. Several special events will highlight the week, including a Fibroid Treatment Seminar on Wednesday, April 21 in Pasadena at 6:00 p.m. PST and a national Fibroid Treatment Webinar, Friday, April 23 at 5 p.m., PST. Both are free, and reservations can be made at http://www.fibroids.com.
“We felt the best way to reach out to almost half the women around the world who may have symptoms of fibroids was through an annual educational observance and to disseminate accurate and timely information about diagnosis and treatment,” said Bruce McLucas, MD, founder of the Collective and a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist. “The Fibroid Treatment Collective was founded 12 years ago to educate women about fibroids and various treatment options,” he added.
Concern for the high number of unnecessary hysterectomies and dissatisfaction with other treatment outcomes led Dr. McLucas to become a non-surgical treatment advocate. His goal, and the mission of FTC, is to ensure women with fibroids know all the options when it comes to treatment. FTC advocates embolization as a safe alternative to other fibroid treatments.
In gynecology, embolization was used to reduce bleeding during uterine surgery. Founding members of the Fibroid Treatment Collective noticed another important effect. It shrank fibroids. The promise of an effective, non-invasive treatment led to research, trials and medical acceptance. Today more than several hundred thousand women world-wide have found relief with this safe, simple procedure. The Fibroid Treatment Collective performed the very first fibroid embolization in America, and has perfected the procedure with thousands of successful treatments to date.
Women interested in learning more about Fibroid Awareness Week can join a national live chat Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST at www.fibroids.com