An ovarian fibroma consists of a cluster of solid white or tan-colored bonded tissue cells that grow near a woman's ovaries. Fibromas, also referred to as fibroids or fibroid tumors, are benign tumors. This generally means the tumor is not cancerous, although their growth in the body is not normal. An ovarian fibroma can sometimes cause torsion in the ovarian area, which involves the twisting and turning of the ovaries.
Most fibroids develop gradually, having no symptoms and causing no problems. Therefore, a benign fibroma can be left alone when it is not causing the patient any trouble. When problems do arise, a surgical technique referred to as laparoscopic surgery is frequently performed to remove an ovarian fibroma. It is generally considered to be a fast and safe surgical outpatient procedure that requires very little cutting.
In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a few small incisions so that he can get to the tumor within the patient's body. An extended camera connected to a thin, stick-like piece of equipment and a light device are used to perform the surgical procedure. The patient can usually return home the same day after having surgery. Sometimes the ovary can be saved in surgery, but there are times when the ovary must also be removed.
There are several factors associated with fibroid growth. These factors include being overweight, starting the menstrual cycle before the age of ten years old, and never experiencing childbirth, referred to as nulliparity. In the United States, studies have found that fibroid tumors also tend to occur more frequently in black women than in white women. The natural production of estrogen in the body has also been known to be a stimulant of fibroid growth. These growths can be detected in young women as early as age 20.
Sometimes the ovarian tumors are very small, while in other instances, they can grow to be as large as a cantaloupe. After a woman experiences menopause, some tumors have been known to shrink, however. This occurs because the woman's body no longer produces large quantities of estrogen.
Although many tumors are harmless, some can be detrimental to a person's health. The tumor can become dangerous due to the continued and uncontrolled growth of fibroids. At this point, the tumor may become malignant or cancerous. A woman who has been diagnosed with an ovarian fibroma should see her doctor regularly to make sure she remains healthy even after the diagnosis.