Fibroids: Most Black Women Have Them But Don’t Talk About Them


By Victor Trammell

There are a number of health problems, which disproportionately affect black women. Also, some of these biological adversities are occurring with a low amount of awareness about them.

One of the lesser-known physical ailments that affect more black women than white women are noncancerous tumors, which form inside the uterus. These tumors are called fibroids. However, in very rare cases, uternine fibroids can be cancerous. This occurs in only 1 in 1,000 women.

Cancerous uterine fibroids are called leiomyosarcoma. Black women are three times more likely to experience fibroids than white women. Black women also start growing fibroids at younger ages than their white female counterparts.

Though many black women have fibroids, very few of them talk about it. Having conversations, which discuss issues that people have a limited amount of knowledge about increases awareness. A black female physician recently had such a conversation with Rolling Out Magazine.

Meet Dr. Shanicka

dr-shanickaPhoto credits: Dr. Shanicka

In her exclusive interview, Dr. Shanicka Williams (pictured above) talked in detail about fibroids and how they affect black women. One of the questions Dr. Williams was asked in her Rolling Out interview was why black women are disproportionately experiencing fibroids.

“The actual cause of this disparity is unknown, but environment and genetics can play a role,” Dr. Williams replied. Rolling Out also asked what symptoms are experienced by women who are dealing with fibroids.

“Most fibroids are asymptomatic,” Dr. Williams replied.

“Some symptoms include abnormal uterine bleeding (which can lead to anemia), increased pelvic pressure (feeling bloated) with enlargement of the lower abdomen, increased urinary frequency, low back pain, pain during sex, and reproductive dysfunction,” she continued.

Dr. Williams also explained that poor diet can increase the chances of a woman growing fibroids.

“A healthy diet is very important for reducing this risk. Interestingly enough, eating a lot of red meat has been shown to increase the risk of fibroids. Having a well-balanced diet that includes green vegetables, fruits, and fish has shown to possibly protect women from getting fibroids,” she added.

To read the entire transcript of Dr. Williams’ interview with Rolling Out Magazine, click on the highlighted source link below.





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