Fibroids patient offers advice for women

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NEW YORK -

It was something Ltoya Batihk found out she had in her 20s.

"I didn't have symptoms at first, but as the years went on, I noticed that my stomach started to look a little bigger and I started to get heavy periods that were painful.”

Her annual checkup at the gynecologist revealed that she had fibroids—benign tumors that are extremely common in African-American women.

The tumors grow within the uterus, and Dr. Jed Cutler at Kings County Hospital says treatment varies depending on a patient's symptoms.

"From medicine to radiology and sometimes even surgery," these are the options, Cutler says.

Sometimes fibroids must be treated before  a woman has had a child, and it can impact how they deliver their baby after they have treatment, he says.

Batihk already had three kids when she was diagnosed, so she chose to undergo surgery.

Two weeks after her hysterectomy, she says she is feeling better and has some advice for other women.

"You definitely need to get your check with your gynecologist every year. And make sure, if you have it, there are choices of treatment so you don't have to be afraid," she says.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 percent of white women will develop fibroids by age 50 and between 80 and 90 percent of African-American women will too.

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