For the most part, uterine fibroids that do not cause a problem for the woman can be left untreated. In some cases, even fibroids that are not causing symptoms require removal or at least close observation. Rapid growth is a reason to watch more carefully, since a rare cancerous form of fibroid (referred to as a leiomyosarcoma) is usually a fast-growing tumor, and it cannot be differentiated from a benign fibroid by ultrasound, MRI , or other imaging studies. However, this type of tumor occurs in less than 1% of uterine fibroids.
Another risk of leaving these tumors alone is that they sometimes grow to a size that eventually cause significant symptoms, thus requiring removal. If fibroids grow large enough, the surgery to remove them can become more difficult and risky. Occasionally, fibroids are the cause of recurrent miscarriages. If they are not removed in these cases, the woman may not be able to sustain a pregnancy.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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