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What are Uterine Fibroid Tumors?

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Updated October 13, 2008

Question: What are Uterine Fibroid Tumors?
Answer: Uterine fibroid tumors, or leiomyomatas, develop within the wall of the uterus. While it's possible for only one uterine fibroid tumor, or leiomyoma, to occur, they more frequently occur as multiple nodules of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissues. The size of uterine fibroid tumors varies significantly from as small as 1 mm to over 20 cm or 8 inches in diameter. Uterine fibroid tumors may grow inside the wall of the uterus or they may project toward the uterine interior cavity or out towards the uterine surface. Rarely, uterine fibroid tumors grow on stalks, or peduncles, extending from the surface of the uterus.

What You Need to Know About Fibroid Tumors

Source: Uterine Fibroid FAQs; The Office on Women's Health, HHS; http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/fibroids.cfm; accessed 10/13/08.

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