Benign Fibroid Tumors

Information on Benign Tumors

The term “benign” implies a mild and nonprogressive disease, and indeed, many kinds of benign tumor are harmless to the health. However, some neoplasms which are defined as ‘benign tumors’ because they lack the invasive properties of a cancer, may still produce negative health effects. Examples of this include tumors which produce a “mass effect” (compression of vital organs such as blood vessels), or “functional” tumors of endocrine tissues, which may overproduce certain hormones (examples include thyroid adenomas, adrenocortical adenomas, and pituitary adenomas).

Tumors are abnormal growths in your body. They are made up of extra cells. Normally, old cells die, and new ones take their place. Sometimes, however, this process goes wrong. New cells form even when you don’t need them, and old cells don’t die when they should. When these extra cells form a mass, it is called a tumor.Tumors can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancer. Malignant ones are. Benign tumors grow only in one place. They cannot spread or invade other parts of your body. Even so, they can be dangerous if they press on vital organs, such your brain.

A benign tumor is one that does not spread or “metastasize” to other parts of the body; a “malignant tumor” is one that does. A benign tumor is caused by cell overgrowth, and thus is different from a cyst or an abcess, although benign is better news than malignant for a cancer biopsy, it does not always mean “harmless”, though many are almost harmless. A benign tumor may still grow, and this growth may cause damage to any organs, tissues, or nerves in its vicinity. Hence, a benign tumor can still cause serious illness and death if it presses on important areas. Benign tumors cause more than 13,000 annual deaths in the USA, compared to more than 500,000 annual deaths from cancer (i.e. from malignant tumors).

aRoughly 20 percent of women will be diagnosed with an ovarian cyst or tumor at some point in their life, and only a small percentage of these women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer,a said Lead Researcher Richard Moore, M.D., assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a gynecologic oncologist in the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island. aThe problem is that current methods for distinguishing benign ovarian tumors from malignant ones are limited and as a result, women must undergo surgery without an accurate assessment as to their risk for having ovarian cancer prior to their surgery.a

Benign tumors tend to grow more slowly than malignant tumors and are less likely to cause health problems. But that doesn’t mean you can just forget about them. Colon polyps are benign tumors and most colon cancer develops from polyps. Benign tumor is basically a tumor that doesn’t come back and doesn’t spread to other parts of the body. A tumor is a mass of tissue that serves no useful purpose and generally exists at the expense of healthy tissues.

A benign tumor can be removed surgically if it is in a location that a surgeon can reach. A tumor growing in an unreachable area of the body can be treated using radiation (by which the patient is administered radioactive substances that target a specific area and destroy cells there). Another method is to insert thin probes into the tumor and freeze it with liquid nitrogen.

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Frequently Asked Questions

    Are all uterine fibroid tumors benign?
    I read an article about the Octomom who is having fibroids removed. She claims they can become precancerous, and I wonder if she is correct.

    • ANSWER:
      A cancerous fibroid tumor is almost unheard of. I think the last I saw any kind of statistics on them, it was way less than even 1%. Fibroid tumors are benign, estrogen dependant growths that most doctors will recommend leaving alone as long as they aren’t causing other problems. The most common problem they cause are heavy periods, and that’s what leads most ladies to have them treated. Unfortunately, fibroids are also one of the leading reasons for elective hysterectomies too. Usually if the ladies can hang out until menopause, the lack of estrogen will cause most of them to shrink, sometimes a good many will disappear too. I think octomom just wants to justify some sort of procedure. Given that she was able to carry eight babies nearly to term without major problems, I’m highly doubtful she would have had much problem with fibroid tumors. Sorry, but this one smells funny. Personally, I think if they get anywhere near her reproductive organs, maybe a hysterectomy wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I know that’s ugly, but I can’t see where it’s to anyone’s benefit to help “save” any of them for future use. Seems to me she has already gotten her share and a few other ladies. If she has fibroids, maybe nature is telling her something. But as I said, I kind of doubt it. Back to your question though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cancerous or even pre-cancerous fibroid tumor. Seen lots of hysterectomies done for them, never saw one go bad. And I’ve been in the field for quite some time.

    Mom has Benign fibroid tumors in ovaries?
    The doctos tell mom she has benign fibroid tumors in her ovaries, each month when she gets her period she has massive bleeding that usually causes her to get anemic and a trip to the emergency room, the docs give her pain shots and send her out the door – Well we just learned that the procedure to remove them is going to cost around ,000 and she doesnt have health insurance and for her to get some would be hard because of the prexisting condition. My question is this – Is this a life or death situation if she ignores them due to the fact that we cannot pay OR is there a way for her to get an operation free of charge? like a charity or somthing we can turn to should it be life threatening? She is such a magnificant woman, single mother of 4 working two jobs and would give the shirt off her back, she donates clothing to the homeless shelters brings them food etc, she is really a saint, never ask for anything for herself and has always thought of others, she works day and night and gets very little sleep, in fact right now she has taken in 2 other children whos mother died last year of cancer so she is a a saintly woman and I would hate to have to watch her die becuase we couldnt afford to pay the dang doctors to perform the surgery, any tips or advice would be greatly apreciated thank you

    • ANSWER:
      Tumors themselves are not life and death situation. However, losing so much blood and becoming anemic is a big problem. Try contacting the Mayo Clinic. They sometimes take on difficult cases. Good luck.

    Will a doctor advise trying to get pregnant if a woman has a submucus fibroid tumor?
    I’m writing a story about a woman who has a uterine fibroid tumor (totally benign, but causing all kinds of problems). She will have to have a hysterectomy within the next year or so because of all of the problems the tumor is causing. She wants to have children some day, so I want to know if her doctor would advise her to start trying to get pregnant before her symptoms get too bad.

    • ANSWER:
      I don’t think a doctor would advise that. It’s too risky for the baby.

    getting pregnant with fibroid tumors?
    i have been diagnosed with 2 fibroid tumors.. i understand that they are benign and that most women live with them without them being a problem. my husband and i have been ttc for a little over a year and still no luck.. has anyone gone through this and been successful?? i never thought it would be so frustrating trying for a baby..our first! is there anything out there besides surgery

    • ANSWER:
      No, surgery is the only way.

    How would you tell the difference between a fibroid big cell tumor (benign) and a lipoma?
    I had injured the palm of my hand and several weeks later a mass began to form under the skin. It kept growing and I recently had it removed. It was 4 cm in diameter. My review of the literature makes me think this was a lipoma. The MD said the lab referred to it as a fibroid, big cell tumor. I had injured my thumb on a previous occasion and my body’s response was the growth of a tumor there as well, about 1-1.5 cm in diameter. It’s still there, never had it removed.

    • ANSWER:
      A tumour always have blood vessels in it, that does not happens with a lipoma. When the tumour is removed it is analysed by a pathologist, he/she analyses the types of cells and blood vessels it has and in that way it is possible to know the kind of tumour it is. Some studies that can be done to see the tumour characteristics are ultrasound, Tomography and magnetic Resonance. It depends of the body area affected and the symptoms of the patient. It is necessary to be seen by a doctor ( a surgeon ) he/she is the appropriate person to order the tests and eventually remove the tumour.

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