Learning that you have uterine fibroids can be quite alarming, because the first thought may be, “Can they turn into cancer?”
A fibroid itself is benign. When they become symptomatic this makes a woman a candidate for a hysterectomy.
In fact, uterine fibroids are the No. 1 reason U.S. women undergo hysterectomies.
You may have read conflicting information about whether or not a malignant transformation is possible with a uterine fibroid.
Is it possible for a uterine fibroid to become malignant?
“This is a chicken and egg question,” says Julian Schink, MD, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Medical Director of Gynecologic and Medical Oncology, Midwestern Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Schink explains, “Some uterine leiomyosarcomas (LMS) likely arise from benign uterine leiomyomas (fibroids).
“Evidence to support this is that fibroids are more common in African American women and so are leiomyosarcomas.”
The commonality translates to about 25 percent of white women and 50 percent of black women during their reproductive years.
A leiomyosarcoma is not the same as cancer of the uterus or endometrial cancer.
LMS are soft-tissue tumors that, in the case of a uterine fibroid, have developed in the muscle-tissue wall of the uterus.
“If a woman has a history of uterine fibroids and surgery performed because they seem to be getting bigger, the chance that they will be LMS is between one in 400 and one in 800.”
A suspicious sign of LMS is when the growth increases rapidly during the reproductive years or grows after menopause.
For more information on uterine fibroids and gynecological cancers, contact Cancer Treatment Centers of America at (844) 632-7188.
With 25+ years of experience, and board certified in gynecologic oncology and OB/GYN, Dr. Schink is dedicated to caring for patients and advancing treatments for gynecologic malignancies. His surgery and chemotherapy treatments include those for ovarian, cervical and uterine cancer.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.