Fibroids vs Cancer Tumors

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What is the difference between benign Fibroids and Cancer Tumours?

Uterine Fibroids – Benign (Non Cancerous) tumours that grow inside the uterus on the lining, or get attached to the lining of the uterus. They can grow outside the uterus too.

Unlike the name suggests, they are not fibrous but like muscular tissues. When they are small, the person doesn’t show any symptoms but as they grow in size the person will see painful, bloody symptoms.

Cancer Tumours – They grow in the muscles of the uterus or in the tissues around the uterus. If the cancer develops in the uterus, they are classified as ‘sarcomas’.

The reason for the cause of these cancer tumours is not definitely knows till date but they can grow due to exposure to X rays, previous radiation therapy or due to medicines used to treat breast cancer.

Following are the significant differences between Cancer Tumours and Fibroids:

  1. As said, Cancer cells from in the muscles around the uterus mostly. They can also form inside the uterus.  Fibroids usually grow on the lining of the uterus or inside the uterus and grow till the walls. They can also grow outside the uterus too.
  2. Symptoms of fibroids – when small, they don’t show up any symptoms but when they grow, it causes heavy bleeding during menstruation, pain in pelvis region, constipation, urinary urgency, infertility and heaviness near the pelvis region.

Symptoms of Cancer – A little different compared to fibroids. Cancer tumors cause bleeding even when the woman doesn’t have her periods. They also feel heaviness in the vagina.

  1. Causes:

Causes of fibroids is not known, but are considered hereditary.  Research suggests that they can be based on ethnicity, being overweight or in cases when a girl has started her menstrual period before 10 years of age.

Causes of cancer tumors include exposure to X rays, radiation treatment to the organs in pelvis region or due to medications used to treat cancer in other areas of the body.

  1. Treatment:

Treatment for fibroids depends on the size and location of the fibroids. When they are small, no treatment may be necessary but as they grow, treatment options such as hormonal medications, anti-inflammatory drugs etc may be considered.  A procedure called Myomectomy or Hysterectomy may also be performed by the gynecologist depending on the need.

Cancer treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemo and hormone therapy.

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