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My Doctor Says My Growing Fibroid Could Be Cancer

Dear Dr. Parker,

Thank you very much for your website. I have benefited from it.

I am 50 and still having regular periods. I have had a pelvic and pap every year since I was 16. I had one in June 2009, and then the next one in October 2010 with a new gynecologist who identified a uterine fibroid, which an ultrasound confirmed to be the size of a grapefruit. I am to have another ultrasound in 3 months. My gynecologist is concerned this it could be cancerous, basing this on the fact that a fibroid was never detected in previous exams. She mentioned a hysterectomy.

In reading your articles, it seems plausible that a fibroid could grow to the size of a grapefruit within 16 months and not be cancerous. Actually, studies seem to indicate that less than 1% of uterine fibroids are cancerous.

I am not bleeding heavily. I do have what feels like a bit of a “stitch” in my side which I presume to be this fibroid, but I have no pain worthy of requiring surgery.

I know this is not much information for you to base an opinion on, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter. I don’t want surgery, and I can live with a fibroid as long as I am not jeopardizing a possible cancerous tumor. It’s the “cancer” word that scares me. Otherwise, I would think nothing of having a fibroid.

Thank you again for providing this website.

In a study we published, the risk of sarcoma (cancer of the uterine muscle) was 2/1000. It is much more likely that this is a growing fibroid. There is a protocol that has helped me rule out sarcoma – it is described on this page:

I hope this is helpful,

Bill Parker, MD


Disclaimer: The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained on this web site are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision.


  1. Barbara Clark
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Hello Dr. Parker,

    I am in my 50s with fibroids inside and outside of the uterus with 3 large fibroids that my doctor has monitored via ultrasound for several years.

    I started menopause 2 years ago and I went in to see my doctor about a week ago for my annual. During my annual ultrasound, it showed that the uterus had increased and there was a 4th fibroid, that she is concerned that it could be cancerous. I am schedule for surgery next month, but the wait is almost impossible to bear mentally.

    Do you think the 4th fibroid could be cancerous with the increase of the uterus?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Posted May 8, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink


    Ultrasound is not very accurate for measuring size of the uterus or size of fibroids, unless the change in size is dramatic (such as an increase of 3 or 4 cm as measured by the same person using the same machine). Sarcoma is extremely rare, but there are tests to help make the diagnosis. Please read this webpage, it has a lot of information about this issue:

    I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have other questions after reading the webpage.

    Bill Parker, MD

Fibroid Doctor William H. Parker

Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research. Based in San Diego, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late 90's.

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