What are noncancerous conditions of the uterus?
Some conditions in the uterus caused by abnormal, rapid and uncontrolled division of cells are not cancer. Three of these benign (noncancerous) conditions include:
- Fibroid tumors – common benign tumors of the uterine muscle that do not develop into cancer. Fibroid tumors of the uterus are very often found in women in their 40s. And, although single fibroid tumors do occur, multiple tumors are more common.
Symptoms of fibroid tumors, which depend on size and location, include irregular bleeding, vaginal discharge and frequent urination. For fibroids that press against nearby organs and cause pain, surgery may be necessary. Many times, however, fibroids do not cause symptoms and do not need to be treated. After menstrual periods cease, fibroid tumors may become smaller and may disappear altogether.
- Endometriosis – a benign condition of the uterus that is common among women in their 30s and 40s, especially women who have never been pregnant. Tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue begins to grow in unusual places, such as on the surface of the ovaries, on the outside of the uterus and in other tissues in the abdomen.
- Hyperplasia – an increase in the number of normal cells lining the uterus. Although it is not cancer, it may develop into cancer in some women. The most common symptoms are heavy menstrual periods bleeding between periods and bleeding after menopause.