© Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America
In her Instagram, the 64-year-old “Basic Instinct” star urged her followers to seek a second medical opinion for their health issues. Sharon Stone shared her own story of being misdiagnosed and having had a few-week course of epidural catheter procedures, usually used to relieve back pain and treat spinal complaints. When they had failed and things got even worse, Sharon Stone finally suspected that something was wrong and had another physician deal with her condition. It turned out that the pain-relieving strategy was absolutely wrong, since in fact she had a uterine fibroid, a tumor in her uterus which, although benign, needed surgical removal.
Having gone through the experience, Sharon Stone was eager to send her fans a message: “Do not let yourself be cheated. Get a second opinion. It can save lives”. She also posted a screenshot of an article on misdiagnoses in women. It told about research results proving that a patient’s sex could influence diagnosis-making, and that female patients, for reasons that are yet to be determined by healthcare professionals, got their diagnoses later than men, and were more at risk of getting the wrong ones.
What is a uterine fibroid?
Thanks to a second opinion, Sharon Stone got to know what her condition really was and could take the right action. But what exactly is her tumor, or uterine fibroid?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the muscular uterine wall. Very often they are asymptomatic and do not require treatment. However, about half of patients may have distressing complaints, including severe, cramp-like pain in the lower abdomen, heavy menstrual bleeding, or discomfort during sex. Very large fibroids can cause frequent need for urination, urinary incontinence, abdominal pain and lower back pain. If left untreated, growing fibroids may increase in size and number, making the pain and other complaints worse. However, before making decisions, it is always worthwhile to consult more than one physician to verify the diagnosis, as well as find the correct strategy, choosing between various therapy options.
Image source: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharon_Stone_(33147462320).jpg), „Sharon Stone (33147462320)“, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode