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Uterine myomas: an overview of development, clinical features, and management.

OBJECTIVE: To review the biology and the pathophysiology of uterine myomas, focus on options for management, and emphasize principles that will render the decision-making process as logical as possible.

DESIGN: Literature review and synthesis of the authors' experience and philosophy.

RESULTS: Uterine myomas are the most common solid pelvic tumors in women. There is increasing evidence that they have a genetic basis and that their growth is related to genetic predisposition, hormonal influences, and various growth factors. Treatment choices are wide and include pharmacologic, surgical, and radiographically directed intervention. Most myomas can be followed serially with surveillance for development of symptoms or progressive growth.

CONCLUSION: The past century has witnessed development of highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic technology for myomas. The tools currently at our disposal permit greater management flexibility with safe options, which must be tailored to the individual clinical situation.

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