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Category "Glossary"

Uterine Fibroids and Their Symptoms

Uterine fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths in or on the walls of the uterus, or womb, ranging in size from less than an inch to more than six inches in diameter. African-American women and those with a family history are more likely to develop fibroids. Most fibroids are asymptomatic, and are only discovered when a woman has a routine pelvic examination.

Know the Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • Heavy, prolonged menstrual periods, sometimes with clots
  • Anemia (fatigue due to low red blood count)
  • Pain or pressure between the hip bones or in the back of the legs
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Urinary frequency
  • Constipation or bloating
  • An enlarged belly

Not normal. Describes a state, condition, or behavior that is unusual or different from what is considered normal. An abnormal lesion or growth in or on the body may be benign (not cancer), precancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer), or malignant (cancer).

An enclosed collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces in the body. An abscess is a sign
of infection and is usually swollen and inflamed.

A measure of the risk of a certain event happening. In cancer research, it is the likelihood that a
person who is free of a specific type of cancer at a given age will develop that cancer over a certain
period of time. For example, a woman 35 years of age, with no known risk factors for breast cancer,
has an absolute risk of getting breast cancer over a lifetime of 90 years of about 13.5%, meaning one
out of every seven women will develop breast cancer.

Closely following a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless there are changes in test
results. Active surveillance may avoid or delay the need for radiation or surgery. It is used to find
early signs that the condition is getting worse. During active surveillance, certain exams and tests,
including biopsies, are done on a regular schedule. It is used in prostate cancer. It is a type of
expectant management.

The tasks of everyday life. These activities include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or
chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living are activities
related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing
housework, and using a telephone. Also called ADL.

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