September 9, 2008
Supermodel Beverly Johnson Speaks Out to End Silence About Uterine Fibroids
ROCKLAND, Mass., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Supermodel Beverly Johnson is on a mission to get women to Ask 4 questions and Tell 4 or more others about a health condition faced by up to 75 percent of all women in the U.S.(1): uterine fibroids. Although uterine fibroids are common, many women remain uninformed about this condition, and a majority wait up to a year before finding treatment, often despite pain, heavy bleeding and weight gain. Beverly did, and now she is sharing her story to ensure that other women not only avoid silent suffering, but actively seek suitable treatment options now. Women can read Beverly's personal story and learn more about uterine fibroids and their treatment at http://www.ask4tell4.com/.
"It is my personal mission to help ensure that women are informed about uterine fibroids and feel empowered, if they think they have fibroids or are diagnosed with them, to talk with their healthcare providers about their treatment options," said Beverly Johnson. "When I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, I didn't know a lot about the condition, and as a result I suffered for a long time, both physically and emotionally. My hope is that women will not be embarrassed to talk about uterine fibroids or afraid to discuss treatment options with their doctors."Lack of information about uterine fibroids and treatment options can have serious consequences for a woman's health and quality of life. According to a national survey*, less than half of the women surveyed could identify non-surgical and uterine sparing options for fibroids. Left untreated, fibroids can cause heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, enlargement of the abdomen, and can lead to reproductive problems.
"Many women silently accept symptoms of uterine fibroids as an unfortunate fact of life, or the result of aging. Others hesitate to discuss their condition because they fear that major surgery is their only treatment option. It is not," said Linda Bradley, M.D., Chair of the OB/GYN Section of the National Medical Association and Vice Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. "Women who have uterine fibroid tumors should know that many treatments are available that can ease their pain and symptoms. While hysterectomy has been the standard surgical treatment for many years, technology has advanced and a number of clinically-proven, non-surgical and uterine-sparing procedures are widely available."
Beverly developed uterine fibroids in her 30s, and for years faced symptoms including heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue and emotional stress. After attempting to manage her symptoms with diet and acupuncture, she consulted with two doctors; both recommended she get a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, Beverly didn't fully understand what a hysterectomy entailed, and she suffered severe complications from the surgery. It took several years of recovery and hormone replacement therapy for her to get her body and life back in balance.
Beverly hopes her willingness to share her story will encourage women to learn about the variety of uterine fibroid treatment options available today, so they can play a more active role in talking with their doctors to select the treatment that best suits their condition and lifestyle.
Beverly's new Web site, Ask4Tell4.com, highlights the four questions she thinks all women should ask themselves and their healthcare provider about uterine fibroids, whether they currently have the condition or not. The site also includes the answers to these questions and information about a variety of treatment options that will help them have a more informed discussion with their doctor. Additionally, women can join Beverly's cause by sharing the information with four or more of their friends or family members through an instant email message sent from the Web site.
The Ask4Tell4 campaign is sponsored by BioSphere Medical, Inc. BioSphere is a pioneer in commercializing minimally invasive therapeutic applications based on proprietary bioengineered microsphere technology. BioSphere's principal focus is the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids using a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE.
* Survey cited was also sponsored by BioSphere and conducted by Caravan Research Corporation. The survey was conducted via telephone to 1,000 women during July 2007. (1) Day Baird D, Dunson DB, Hill MC, Cousins D, Schectman JM. High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: ultrasound evidence. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003;188:100-7
Web site: http://www.ask4tell4.com/