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“One of the first things women ask when they find out they have a fibroid is, ‘Is it cancerous?

’” says Erika Feuerstein, a family physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

Immunotherapy is exciting, but we also need to be aware of the risks of taking the brakes off the immune system.

Immune checkpoints are proteins that act as brakes on the immune system.

In 2003, at age 43, Laura Porter, MD, was in her second year of her residency in her medical training, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

She has had recurrences in her ovary, liver, pancreas, and abdominal lymph nodes. Since 2005, she has been a patient advocate and medical consultant in the field of colorectal cancer, sharing her survival experience and medical expertise.

“I’ve seen so many women who suffered needlessly for years with pain, heavy bleeding and low iron—and they just assumed it was all part of life,” Allaire says.

“If you notice changes in your period—specifically heavier or more painful periods—that persist or you experience pain, pressure or a feeling of fullness in your abdomen, it could be a fibroid, and you should see a doctor.” Aza Mcdonough’s doctor sent her to an OB/GYN.

Blocking these checkpoints takes the brakes off the immune system and allows it to attack cancer cells.As a patient advocate, I served on this guideline panel. These side effects are common but may not occur in all people or with all types of immunotherapies. They may occur right away or up to 2 years after treatment ends.If you are treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor, it is important that you are aware of these side effects and that you call your doctor right away if they occur. The list below describes dangerous side effects and their symptoms.Or why her period had become so irregular and, when it did arrive, why it was suddenly so heavy and painful. After almost a year of discomfort and worry, an internal ultrasound finally revealed a fibroid the size of a grapefruit on the back of her uterus. The elementary school teacher from Grimsby, Ont., went straight to the Internet.She was terrified the fibroid might prevent her from getting pregnant. Google confirmed what her doctor had already told her: Depending on the size and location of the fibroid, it could make getting pregnant more difficult and increase her risk of having a miscarriage if she was able to conceive. Why (we think) women get fibroids One in three women will develop uterine fibroids at some point in her life, but doctors still don’t really know why.

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