How 1 doctor is helping women suffering from fibroids

Here's what to know about fibroids, which disproportionately affect women of color, from how they can affect the body to treatment options.
4:26 | 12/02/20

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Transcript for How 1 doctor is helping women suffering from fibroids
We're back with our wellness uncovered series putting a lens on some of the health disparities women of color face. This morning we're looking at fibroids and how one doctor is working to provide more options from those suffering from them and janai is back with more. Good morning again, janai. Reporter: Hey, robin. Yes, studies show black women are three times more likely to develop fibroids compa white women and those suffering with them it can affect so many aspect of a woman's life. There's not only something that can be done but there are also options. For years data says life revolved around managing her symptoms. It's a lot of anxiety to be honest to just not know when your psych surveillance going to come and know it's going to be a problem. Reporter: Fibroids are a benign usually asymptomatic tumor that grows in the uterus and while an estimated 70% to 80% of women will develop them by age 50, studies show black women are more likely to experience severe symptoms like heavy bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain and abdominal bloating and evidence in a study in north Carolina shows black women were treated with hysterectomies at higher rates than white women and often during their childbearing years. It's so widespread and there's not enough known about it. We're missing the impact we could have on this large population. Reporter: For this doctor, it's personal. Myb broid journey was quick, short, it was very How did your experience with fibroids and the treatment end up influencing what you do today? Because I was later in my diagand my uterus was so large I didn't have the option of minimally invasive surgery frrt from patient to practitioner she is a gynecologic surgeon offering alternative treatment and treatments for a woman like daka. What would you say to her? How would you encourage her to be her own advocate? I would encourage her to first listen to her body. Take heed to the changes and speak up and then take all of that knowledge to your doctor and say what can I do? And Dr. Hawkins encourages women not to suffer in silence but advocate for themselves and speak up so she says push to get a diagnosis and then push to learn the options available and what can be done. Robin. All great. Janai, thank you so much. And so we're going to bring in Dr. Jen Ashton. She'll break it all down for us. You hear that all the time, go to your doctor, ask the questions. What questions should a woman ask her doctor about this condition? Robin, the two most important questions are size and location. Not every fibro needs treatment. Not every fibroid causes a the location is important. Are they outside the muscle, inside the muscle of the uterus or inside the cavity which typically causes heavy bleeding and how big they are. You have fruits in front of you, they can range from the size of a grape all the way up to the size of a grapefruit. So, again, both of those things very important, size and location. We can see that. It's so visual to see how different it can be in size. So what are the available treatments, Jen? Robin, the most important thing, there are more options today than ever before and if you take a look at this list, they can range from temporary hormonal treatment all the way surgery done via the cervix, laproscopic, minimally invase ink, radiofrequency and uterine artery embolization. They need to ask about all option, not just the one the surgeon can him or herself. You came to me a few weeks aed and said it's so important to do reports like this. Why did you feel that way? Because, you know, after being in practice 16 years I've seen the effects of race and ethnicity on women's lives and it's not a one size fits all approach and really the kudos goes to you and ABC and janai and the brave women who share their stories, so the more we can increase awareness, the better care these women will get and the better their quality of life will be. Thank you for being the catalyst for this. Appreciate that. We'll have more reports in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks. Ginger, back to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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