The History and Epidemiology of Fibroids

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Although fibroids are the commonest tumours to afflict the pelvic organs of women and have been recognised and named since ancient times they were not amenable to treatment until the first laparotomy was performed just over 200 years ago. Without the benefit of modern imaging techniques there was considerable confusion between massive fibroids and large ovarian tumours and the diagnosis was often wrong, the mortality rate was extremely high and before the advent of anaesthesia the pain and suffering was appalling. The history of fibroid therapy is reviewed from this horrific start through safer and more conservative surgery to the modern approach using sophisticated imaging techniques and minimal access approaches to therapy. The epidemiology is reviewed with regard to clear racial differences, being much more common among those of African−Caribbean descent and a possible hypothesis is presented to try to explain this. Other factors such as age, parity, oral contraceptive use, the progesterone intra-uterine system and smoking are discussed along with medical diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension and other disorders resulting in the production of unopposed oestrogen.


Uterine Artery Uterine Artery Embolisation Uterine Fibroid Laparoscopic Myomectomy Unopposed Oestrogen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gynaecological Surgery, Faculty of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.Gunners Farm, Stringers CommonJacobs Well, GuildfordUK

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