The short answer to the question “Can fibroids be cancerous?” is yes, fibroids can be cancerous but the chance of this happening is about 1 percent. This means that most uterine fibroids are benign (non cancerous). Most malignant (cancerous) uterine fibroids occur in older women though they can affect younger women.
It is still unknown not only why fibroids develop but also whether the malignant uterine fibroids start off being malignant or whether they start off being benign and then become malignant as they grow.
Testing for Cancer
Unfortunately in most cases it is impossible to know if a fibroid is cancerous with 100 percent certainty without surgical removal when the fibroid can be sectioned multiple times before the cell divisions of the fibroid are counted to be able to determine whether the fibroid is malignant.
However, since the chance of cancer with fibroids is about 1 in 10,000 cases, and the risk of surgical complications is 1 in 1,000, it does not make sense to opt for surgery (even when your doctor recommends it) when it is more than likely that the tumor will be benign when it is removed and examined. Unless there is a family history, results from genetic testing (currently in the news after the revelation of Angelina Jolie’s recent surgical procedures – mastectomy and possible future removal of her ovaries – due to her risk of cancer), etc, it is important to not rush into making any decisions as far as surgery is concerned. While all cases where cancer is identified will require an immediate hysterectomy, unless you have reason to believe that the fibroid is more than likely to be cancer, do not be quick to agree to a hysterectomy unless the doctor is 100 percent convinced about the malignancy of the tumor. Surgery should not be used as a preventative step.
Bottom line – MOST FIBROID TUMORS ARE BENIGN (yes shouting is required 🙂 )
There are also many other exams that may help the doctor determine whether fibroid tumors are malignant but 100 percent certainty can only be determined upon surgical removal of the tumor.
a. Fibroids are not cancer
b. They do not cause cancer
c. They do not increase the risk of developing cancer
Is My Fibroid Malignant?
When you have some of the following symptoms, you may want to request that your doctor test the tumors for cancer even when the doctor does not suggest testing them for malignancy.
1. Heavy Bleeding
While certain types of uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding, heavy bleeding can also be a sign of cancer in the uterine lining or uterine wall. Endometrial cancer (grows in the lining of the uterus) can cause heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods or spotting between periods. The risk of cancer is increased when the woman experiencing this abnormal bleeding is over the age of 50, though it can affect any woman of any age.
In almost all cases where heavy bleeding is involved, testing for malignancy is important.
2. Rapidly Growing Tumor
A rapidly growing tumor may indicate malignancy but again, just because a fibroid tumor is growing very fast does not mean that it is malignant. Only about 1 percent of rapidly growing tumors ever turn out to have cancerous properties.
3. Tumor Properties
If the properties of the tumor change, it could be a problem.
If you are stressed out about fibroids being called tumors and wondering about malignancy of fibroid tumors, it is important to know that while cancer may be possible, the chances of this happening are very slim. Not impossible, but slim.
This is why it is so important to make your health a priority and make the pursuit of health a lifetime goal. Whether this involves looking at your diet, level of activity, emotions, etc. For natural treatment of uterine fibroids while promoting your overall health, this step-by-step guide has been a godsend for many women in similar positions of having to deal with uterine fibroids.