Dr. Yan Katsnelson, Founder, and CEO, USA Fibroid Centers and Fibroid Fighter Eugenia Buie talked with CBS news anchor Lisa Rozner during National Women’s Health Month in May to help women prioritize their wellness and learn about fibroids.

Every year, millions of women silently suffer from fibroids.

“I noticed that throughout the course of my life, I was having anxiety attacks. My cycle went from five days to seven days to ten days,” Eugenia Buie told Rozner.

The 43-year-old described how the pain of having uterine fibroids was so bad, she could no longer exercise — her passion.

“There are times when I would pass out,” she said. “The doctor told me when I had my blood transfusion, that the anxiety attacks were attributed to the fact that the fibroids were taking my blood.”

Dr. Yan Katsnelson recommends any woman experiencing similar symptoms get an ultrasound.

“Ultrasound within five minutes can tell you whether you have it or not. Very rarely an MRI is needed,” he said.

To educate more women about the problem, New York Congresswoman Yvette Clark introduced federal legislation that would mandate the CDC have a public education program, and it would set aside funding for research.

The National Institutes of Health says 80% of Black women will be diagnosed with fibroids by the age of 50. That number is 70% for white women.

Vice President Kamala Harris recently highlighted the legislation, saying too many suffer in silence.

“Black women are about three times more likely to be hospitalized because of fibroids,” she said in a speech on April 21.

In Buie’s case, she had been told two decades ago about her fibroids, but a doctor, she says, told her not to worry and suggested iron and birth control pills. Fast forward to last year.

“I had 12 fibroids. Some were the size of, I was told, the size of a cantaloupe to the smaller size of a kiwi,” she said. “My OBGYN suggested a hysterectomy.”

She wanted to preserve her body’s ability to bear children, and one day, a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” episode showed model Cynthia Bailey open up about a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization.

“We can put a catheter that goes through the body to the origin of the arteries that feed those fibroids,” said Dr. Katsnelson. “They will shrink and get disappeared from the body.”

Buie said she went home the same day and recovered in about a week’s time.

“The liberty that I have to move,” she said. “I feel like I got my life back.”

She wants to empower other women to learn about their options and take action as soon as possible.

Buie is now an ambassador with an advocacy organization called the Fibroid Fighters.

 

Watch the entire broadcast below: