Why is treatment so hard to find for the most frequently diagnosed uterine tumor?
Founder, The Fibroid Foundation
Most people don’t hear the word fibroids until they, or someone they care about, are diagnosed. What follows is a flurry of activity as one struggles to understand what is inaccurately described as a “benign” tumor.
The symptoms that most often lead to discovering a fibroid are far from benign: heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia that could cause you to pass out, clots the size of your palm or larger, and, oh yes, pain. These are some of the symptoms, to name a few. Many women are diagnosed with fibroids while pregnant. In some instances, the fibroid can outpace the growth of the fetus.
You might ask, given these scary statistics, why there isn’t more conversation around this health concern that affects so many. At The Fibroid Foundation, we asked the same question. Fibroids affect over 70 percent of women. The 2018 article Burden, Prevalence, and Treatment of Uterine Fibroids: A Survey of U.S. Women states that, “approximately 25 to 50 percent of women with fibroids are symptomatic, experiencing heavy menses, reproductive issues, pain, increased urinary frequency, and anemia.”
And yet, minimally invasive, uterine-sparing options are not the standard treatment of care despite minimally invasive treatment options being preferred by patients. How is this so? And how can this disconnect be remedied?
The answer, in our opinion is patient sensitive research that reflects the enormity of the community affected, followed by expanded training and guidelines to support minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
Of course, a cure for fibroids is the goal. As we strive for that goal, an end to unnecessary hysterectomies is a logical first step.
There are several ways to support the fibroid community. First, write your legislator and voice your support of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Fibroid Research & Education Act. Ask the women and menstruators you know about their experience(s) with fibroids. Join The Fibroid Foundation community and continue the conversation using the hashtag #askHER.