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Why you have a uterine fibroid

WHP is currently enrolling clinical trials for treatments of uterine fibroids in women with heavy menstrual periods. If you are interested please call WHP Clinical Research at 217-356-3736. Or look on line for more information.

1. 80% of women will have a uterine fibroid by age 50, although many are asymptomatic and will not require any medical therapy. The question for many women becomes why, not 'if', as in up to half of all cases they can cause abnormal bleeding, fertility problems, anemia, bulk symptoms like a swollen abdomen, and anemia.

2.Uterine fibroids are a muscle knot grown from a uterine cell, that cell gets unchecked growth, and the fibroid becomes a cluster of cells. Strictly speaking they are leiomyomas, and not a cancer. However, as a growth, they are called a tumor.

4. The cells of a uterine fibroid, as compared to normal compared to a healthy normal uterine cell are very susceptible to stimulation by progesterone as they have increased receptors (ability to bind and be activated by) progestereone. This is critically important to understand as ultimately we treat fibroids by either reducing progesterone or binding those receptors to prevent fibroid growth.

5. You are more likely to have a uterine fibroid diagnosed if it is large or growing rapidly. Growth rates are difficult to predict, vary by age and genetics. After menopause many fibroids will actually shrink. A 2017 study reported to the NIH showed majority of fibroids grow less than 20% in 6 months, with a median growth rate of 9%. Pelvic examination and ultrasound can determine the pace of growth of any fiborid you have.

6. Origin of the fibroid is assumed to be due to the presence of the abnormal cell that becomes the fibroid, however growth of fibroids is not only dependent on influence of the steroid hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), but most importantly on the effects of local uterine growth factors. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-βs) is a polypeptide growth factor that is most important in fibroid growth and it conists of three types: TGF-β1, TGF-β2, and TGF-β3. Other growth factors are at play as well, including, activin-A and PDGF), cytokines (TNF-α).

7. You also have a uterine fibroid as your uterus was able to form special matrix, or glue, around the abnormal cells to allow them to form the round shaped tumor they become. Research is looking at whether natural compounds like vitamin D and resveratrol can be either preventative, or medical treatments that target the matrix that causes presence of uterine leiomyoma .

To get a diagnosis, or find out if you would be right for a clinical research trial in uterine fibroids, please contact WHP

TGF-β3 which cause fibroids to grow. What stimulates the presence of these growth factors is a subject of research.

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