Michigan Representative Kyra Harris Bolden and Yan Katsnelson, M.D.,CEO of USA Fibroid Centers Convene on Need for Fibroid Awareness
Fibroid Awareness and Treatment Options Access Needs Better Representation
Northbrook, IL, June 28, 2022— State Rep. Kyra Bolden, representing Michigan’s 35th House District, took part in USA Fibroid Centers’ Break the Silence, Break the Behavior Video Series, which is working to heighten national awareness about the uterine fibroid epidemic and lack of treatment options. Kelly spoke about the steps she is taking to make women’s healthcare a priority—especially when it comes to treating fibroid disease.
A staunch supporter of women’s rights to better healthcare, Bolden talked with USA Fibroid Centers’ Founder and CEO, Yan Katsnelson, M.D., and USA Fibroid Center’s Ambassador and fibroid survivor, Erica L. Taylor. The state representative succeeded in designating Fibroid Awareness Month in Michigan to enable women to have education about fibroid disease.
Bolden shared her own experience with fibroid disease, which started in the spring of 2020 as a protrusion in her stomach, that got so large it felt “almost like a softball. I could see it when looking at myself in a mirror and I hoped it wasn’t cancer,” she said.
After doing research, she learned that it was likely to be fibroids. Despite her efforts to schedule a visit with her doctor, she was forced to wait three months due to the pandemic. During that time, she was able to receive an ultrasound at an outpatient clinic, which found two small fibroids. She kept her appointment with her doctor, who did more extensive testing and found multiple fibroids, which were growing rapidly.
“The one thing I learned,” Bolden said, “is the importance of having multiple diagnostic tests done. After the first test, I thought that I just had two small fibroids. By the time I could be seen by my doctor and have a myomectomy, I had multiple fibroids that had increased in size very quickly.”
Although she was able to take time off work to undergo surgery, Bolden realized what a large issue fibroid disease poses to millions of women.
“I think about the millions of people that have this challenge and must take off work. Their fertility and reproductive system are affected either by having surgery or by the fibroids themselves,” she said.
According to Katsnelson, chronic fibroid pain also “paralyzes the regular woman’s life.” Because it causes absenteeism, “it puts women behind in school, college, or at the job.” he said.
Uterine Fibroid disease is the most prevalent reproductive illness affecting women. In the black population, fibroids affect up to 80% of women over 50, while 70% of women suffer from them in the white community. Of the 26 million American women who have received a diagnosis of fibroids, 10 million are symptomatic.
“Through my research, I found out fibroids is the number one cause of hysterectomy in women. And on top of that, it affects black women more,” Bolden said. “This is something that many of my constituents and women everywhere deal with, and I just wanted to bring a voice to it.”
Bolden has received support from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is allotting $500,000 in her proposed budget to provide funding for research. Increasing knowledge of what causes uterine fibroids and treatment are not only important for health equity but also for economic reasons. It is estimated that fibroid care cost the U.S. health care system $9.4 billion annually.1
Both Bolden and Katsnelson advocate for community involvement to help spread awareness and bring about change in fibroid treatment.
“Community involvement is crucial because it increases awareness of the gravity of a crippling condition like fibroids,” according to Katsnelson.
The biggest concern that Katsnelson raises is the lack of options that women are provided to treat fibroid disease, often due to the lack of familiarity by both physicians and patients with UFE, which is performed by interventional radiologists.
“Women shouldn’t have to choose between invasive surgery and continued pain from fibroids, especially when FDA-approved uterine fibroid embolization, offers a minimally invasive solution,” Katsnelson said.
Fluoroscopy, a real-time x-ray technique, is used by UFE to guide the placement of embolic agents in the uterus and fibroids through a tiny catheter. These substances induce the fibroids to contract by obstructing the arteries that supply them with blood. According to studies, approximately 90% of women who undergo UFE have their fibroid-related symptoms significantly or completely resolved.
“The whole procedure takes under an hour and the patient can home after two hours,” said Katsnelson. “They can be back at work in two, or three days.”
USA Fibroid Centers’ goal is to focus national awareness on uterine fibroids that can cause significant pelvic pain, iron deficiency, anemia, miscarriages, infertility, and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of hysterectomies and fertility problems.
“The future of medicine needs to focus on cure, not care,” Katsnelson said. “Instead of caring for disease for 20 or 30 years, if we can cure disease earlier, it’s extremely beneficial for the patient.”
View Bolden’s full interview on the Break the Silence, Break the Behavior Video series below:
For information about fibroids and treatment options, call 855-6152555 or visit www.usafibroidcenters.com.
About USA Fibroid Centers
USA Fibroid Centers is the leading provider of minimally invasive fibroid treatment, with an extensive national network of centers. USA Fibroid Centers’ mission is to provide personalized, non-surgical treatment for fibroids using an advanced procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). USA Fibroid Centers is dedicated to raising awareness of UFE as a treatment option and encouraging more conversation about fibroids.
About “Break the Silence, Break the Behavior”
Started in 2021, the video serious “Break the Silence, Break the Behavior” offers in-depth interviews with legislators, health activists and celebrities. Its goal is to bring attention to the fibroid epidemic and its effect on women’s health, emotional wellbeing, family lives and careers.