Can fibroids be cancerous?

Can Fibroids Be Cancerous?

It is perfectly normal for healthcare providers and patients to be concerned about malignancy (cancer) when a pelvic tumor - symptomatic or asymptomatic - is encountered. A malignant tumor of the smooth muscle is called a leiomyosarcoma.

Fibroids Cancer Studies

Thankfully, a number of studies have looked at the rate of leiomyosarcoma findings in women with pelvic tumors, and the review consensus is that about 1 in 400 women (0.25%) undergoing surgery for fibroids is at risk of having a leiomyosarcoma.

In a review of 6815 patients who underwent myomectomy between 1950 and 1993, only 18 patients (0.26%) had leiomyosarcomas. In the subpopulation of women whose masses had grown rapidly, the prevalence was the same at 0.27%.¹⁻²  Based on this evidence, rapid growth of a fibroid does not seem to be a predictor of leiomyosarcoma. However postmenopausal growth or onset of symptoms should carry a higher suspicion for malignancy. Other case series have estimated the incidence of leiomyosarcoma at 0.22% to 0.49%, although in women in their 50's it may rise to 1% of hysterectomy specimens.¹⁻²

The general consensus in the most up-to-date literature is that the incidence of sarcoma among women with presumed fibroids is 0.05% (1/2000) to 0.29% (1/340).³ To better contextualize these stats, this means that cancer is quite rare compared to uterine fibroids, and the vast majority of uterine growths are benign.

Learn more fibroid facts and read our post on the differences between a fibroid, cyst, and polyp.


[1] George A Vilos et al. The management of uterine leiomyomas. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline. No. 318, February 2015.

[2] Parker WH, Fu YS, Berek JS. Uterine sarcoma in patients operated on for presumed leiomyoma and rapidly growing leiomyoma. Obstet Gynecol 1994;83:414–8.

[3] Seagle, B. L. L., Alexander, A. L., Strohl, A. E., & Shahabi, S. (2018). Discussing sarcoma risks during informed consent for nonhysterectomy management of fibroids: an unmet need. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 218(1), 103.e1-103.e5.


(310) 906-2270


(310) 209-2113



M-F, 9am-5pm


1082 Glendon Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90024


505 S. Virgil Ave. #101

Los Angeles, CA 90020


575 E. Hardy Street, #322

Inglewood, CA 90301


1411 S. Garfield Ave. #303

Alhambra, CA 91801

The Fibroid Specialists of University Vascular are leading providers of uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the least invasive treatment option for women suffering from uterine fibroids. Our physicians have devoted their expertise to helping women overcome fibroids without hysterectomy or major surgery. 

OnChart patient acquisition logo white

Powered by

Schedule Your Visit


Call us any time

M-F, 9am-5pm


Email us or use this message box


(310) 209-2113

Have your health records faxed

© 2021 by OnChart. All Rights Reserved. Please review our  Terms of Use.