Tumors of the Womb.
The womb is especially prone to be the location of foreign growths. These occur mostly in middle life, and are commonly either of a fibroid or cancerous nature.
The fibroid is a firm, hard mass of fibrous tissue, growing either on the inside wall and suspended like a polypus, or developing in the uterine muscle itself, or on the outside of the womb in the abdominal cavity. They attain oftentimes huge proportions and weigh many pounds. They are not necessarily fatal to life or detrimental to health, but usually give rise to a train of symptoms which may be annoying and fatal. Hemorrhage and profuse menstruation to such an extent that the patient is rendered pale and almost blanched are not infrequent. Pressure on the bladder and surrounding organs often causes serious disturbance to urination and defecation; digestion is interfered with, and pain is frequently present. When these tumors, which are of slow growth, are small, painless and free from trouble, they may be let alone; but when large, bleeding freely, and causing symptoms of pressure, they must be dealt with. Many gynecologists of the present day claim that every fibroid should be removed; but as this means the enucleation of the womb and ovaries (hysterectomy), a very severe operation, we cannot endorse this view. especially as hundreds of women go through life unscathed even with large tumors.
The menopause, or 1, change of life," has a twofold effect on them some begin to atrophy and grow small after the blood ceases to come to these parts in regular monthly congestion, and they may even disappear entirely: others are increased in size and even change their structure into malignant growths. Hence it will be seen that these tumors require the supervision of the family doctor or specialist, that their growth may be watched. It remains to be added that many advocate the use of strong galvanic currents, applied according to the method of Apostoli, a noted French savant, to diminish the size of these tumors. Many cures are claimed, and at one time it seemed as though this method was destined to supersede all others; but now, after a few years' trial all over the world, it is generally conceded that only certain varieties are amenable to this treatment, and that the tumor does not entirely disappear. This method, however, obviates the necessity for operating, and is in many cases an admirable way of reducing and keeping in check what otherwise might threaten life. It is still a much used, though often abused, method of treating them, and appeals to the timid and obdurate.
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