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Friday, October 10, 2008

Hearing the words "fibroid tumors" from your doctor could prompt a variety of reactions. The word "tumor" might spark fear of cancer. You might worry that you'll be unable to bear children. On the other hand, you could be relieved to know the reason for your prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeding. If fibroids led to your mother's hysterectomy — surgical removal of the uterus — you might believe that's your destiny, too.

Don't jump to conclusions. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow slowly and usually require no treatment. Even if they cause symptoms, you still have a variety of treatment options.

So take time to gather information about your condition and all the treatments available to you. Discuss your options with your doctor. Consider seeking opinions from doctors in specialties such as obstetrics and gynecology, women's health, and interventional radiology. Talk with other women who have faced fibroids. Gathering several opinions can give you a balanced understanding of your options.

Before you reach a decision, it's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various treatments. This guide presents information about several options. You'll watch a Mayo Clinic specialist in obstetrics and gynecology answer frequently asked questions about uterine fibroids, and see a list of questions to go over with your own doctor. You'll read about five women who chose different treatments.

It takes about an hour or more to use this guide. You don't have to do it in one sitting, but review it all before making a decision. That way, you'll be better informed and know what to expect.


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