Fibroid Embolization Fails Younger Black Women | BlackDoctor

    Fibroid Embolization Less Effective In Women Under 40

    african doctor examining female patient
    Young women who have a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids called embolization are more likely to have a recurrence than older women are, according to a new study report in Reuters Health.

    Fibroids are very common, non-cancerous growths that form from muscle cells and other tissue in the wall of the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of Black women will develop fibroids at some point by age 50.

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    In the new study, Italian researchers looked at long-term results from uterine artery embolization, in which tiny particles are injected into blood vessels leading to the uterus, cutting off the fibroids’ blood supply and shrinking them. Researchers found that out of 176 women treated with embolization, the “clinical failure” rate was 18 percent over seven years.

    In other words, the fibroids grew back – typically after three years.

    Women age 40 or younger were almost six times more likely to see their symptoms come back, versus women who underwent embolization after age 40.

    Dr. Giovanna Tropeano and colleagues at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome report the findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

    It’s not surprising that younger women have more recurrences, according to Dr. James Spies, a professor of radiology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.

    Women who have fibroids treated after age 40 are closer to menopause, when fibroids will usually shrink on their own. But younger women have a longer time period in which a recurrence can happen, Spies explained in an interview. On top of that, fibroids that arise at a young age and/or in Black women are typically more severe.

    According to Spies, women who need fibroid treatment should talk with their doctor about all their treatment options. The “right” therapy, he said, will largely depend on where you are in your life.

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