Uterine Fibroid Treatments: Why Black Women Are More Likely to Get Fibroids by USA Fibroid Centers
USA Fibroid Centers has launched an awareness campaign during Black History Month to provide education and information about fibroids and non-invasive treatment. Uterine fibroid disease is the most prevalent reproductive illness and black women are 80 to 90 percent more likely to get uterine fibroids.
These benign tumors often cause heavy bleeding, anemia, incontinence, pain or infertility, impacting a women’s quality of life. Black women are at a three times greater risk for developing uterine fibroids. Of the 26 million American women who have received a diagnosis of fibroids, 10 million are symptomatic.
Fibroid disease is also the leading cause of hysterectomies for women seeking to relieve their uterine fibroid symptoms. The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States each year, and fibroids are the top reason the surgery is performed.
Photo: (L-R) Dr. Yan Katsnelson, Founder of USA Fibroid Centers, with Ebony Young, Deputy Queens Borough President, and Vanessa Gibson, Bronx Borough President, at a “Night in Purple” Fibroid Awareness event, held July 28, 2022, at the Empire Steak House in Midtown Manhattan
USA Fibroid Centers’ mission is to spread awareness and education about fibroid disease to help women learn about less invasive treatment options – such as uterine fibroid embolization.
While there is a range of options for uterine fibroid treatment, including surgical hysterectomy or myomectomy, hormonal therapy like birth control or Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), USA Fibroid Centers’ Founder and CEO, Dr. Yan Katsnelson believes more women need to know about the non-surgical method Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) that preserves the uterus and offers a quick recovery.
“Awareness is critical for early detection, which is key to ensuring that women have a voice in their treatment options,” said Dr. Yan Katsnelson, Founder and CEO of USA Fibroid Centers. “Too many women with fibroids are unaware that there are less invasive treatments than a hysterectomy that are highly successful.”
Fibroids affect black women more severely. They are at a three-times greater risk of developing multiple uterine fibroids with aggressive growth rates and are more likely to be affected at earlier ages. Black women are also more likely to be hospitalized and require blood transfusions because of heavy bleeding. Although there are other options, black women with fibroids are two to three times more likely to get a hysterectomy and seven times more likely to get a myomectomy.
Researchers have found several factors that are linked to why black women suffer more frequently from fibroids, although no one specific cause has been identified. Research into the leading theories as to why fibroids in black women seem more prevalent include:
- There may be a genetic element that increases this fibroid growth among black women.
- Several studies suggested that women with fibroids experience greater overall lifetime stress, which may be a trigger.
- Some evidence suggests environmental factors, such as diet, may increase the risk of why people develop fibroids.
- Another study indicated black women with fibroids have a vitamin D deficiency due to darker skin.
- A study of more than 23,000 black women found an increased risk of fibroids among those with the longest and most frequent use – and most burns – from hair relaxers.
Because most black women have fibroids at some point in their lives, the symptoms they experience might seem normal for them. Fibroid symptoms can be very painful and unpleasant for every woman with fibroids. However, black women with fibroids most commonly report more severe symptoms that interfere with physical activity. A national study found that black women also tend to wait longer than white women before seeking treatment.
Unfortunately, black women are more likely to be less aware of treatment choices and only presented with surgical treatments. More black women have hysterectomies – and are less likely to have laparoscopic hysterectomies than other races. A hysterectomy is a permanent solution for uterine fibroids and is not recommended for women of reproductive age that plan to conceive a child in the future.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is an effective treatment for alleviating fibroid-related symptoms without removing the uterus. Patient satisfaction rates with UFE are high. UFE treatment is considered very safe with a low risk of complications.
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