Fibroids are non-cancerous in most cases. However, in extremely rare cases, the fibroid can be cancerous. It is believed that fewer than 1 in 1,000 cases are cancerous.
Are fibroids always cancerous?
The occurrence of fibroids is pretty common. In most cases, they are non-cancerous tumours that grow in the uterus. Their size is variable, ranging from tiny to very large. Generally, they do not cause any symptoms. However, in rare cases, the tumour present in the uterus turns out to be cancerous, and such cases will require immediate treatment. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in almost all cases, fibroids are non-cancerous or benign. In rare cases, i.e., in less than one in 1,000 cases, a cancerous fibroid can happen. This cancerous fibroid is called leiomyosarcoma. The researchers believe that having a fibroid won’t increase the risk of cancer, and leiomyosarcomas do not occur from an already-existing fibroid.
It is very common to misdiagnose cancer from fibroids as both fibroids, and cancerous tumours can look similar while having similar symptoms. They can be differentiated through medical imaging, such as MRI, ultrasound and pathology examination, such as biopsy. The treatment regime for cancer involves the removal of the mass through surgery, followed by possible chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Can fibroids increase the risk of other cancer?
Maybe. Whether fibroids increase the risk of other cancers is a debatable matter. Generally, fibroids are not cancerous and do not increase the risk of uterine cancer. The etiology behind the occurrence of fibroids is still unknown. However, prolonged exposure to estrogen and genetics is believed to increase the risk of developing fibroids.
The results of a study suggest that there is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in women with uterine fibroids. In such cases, premenopausal monitoring is essential to detect cancer at an early stage.
Contrastingly, another research states that women with uterine fibroids do not have a higher cancer risk than women without fibroids. However, if there is an autopsy on women with fibroids who may have cancer, one will find cases mostly of breast cancer. The risk of endometrium cancer and pancreatic cancer slightly increases, but tumours of other organs are less frequent.
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