Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Supermodel Beverly Johnson Speaks Out To Help Women

(NAPSI)-Beverly Johnson, the first African-American model to grace the cover of Vogue magazine, is speaking out to help women seek treatment for a common and often painful condition: uterine fibroids. Although up to 75 percent of all women in the U.S. are affected by uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors that grow in or on the walls of the uterus, many women remain uninformed about this condition and wait up to a year before finding treatment, often despite heavy bleeding, pain, weight gain and other symptoms.

Johnson is sharing her story to ensure that other women not only avoid silent suffering, but actively speak with other women and their health care provider about suitable treatment options. Women can read Johnson's story and learn more about uterine fibroids and their treatment at

"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," said Johnson. "Ask 4 Tell 4 is about educating women about the condition so they will not be embarrassed to talk about their symptoms or be afraid to discuss treatment options with their doctors."

"Women seeking relief from uterine fibroids should ask their doctor to discuss a variety of treatment options so they can select the procedure that best fits their lifestyle and symptom profile," said John Lipman, M.D., FSIR, and director of interventional radiology at Emory-Adventist Hospital near Atlanta. In addition to hysterectomy, there are a variety of nonsurgical and uterine-sparing treatment options available today."

One such treatment is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a nonsurgical procedure that usually takes less than one hour. An interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through a tiny nick in the skin to deliver microspheres (sand-sized particles) that block the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. While a hysterectomy may require a six-to-eight-week recovery period, UFE patients typically return to work and can resume normal activities within one week.

Johnson's new Web site,, features the four questions she thinks all women should ask themselves and their health care provider about uterine fibroids, whether they currently have them or not. The site also includes the answers to these questions and information about a variety of treatment options. Additionally, women can join Johnson's cause by sharing the information with four or more of their friends or family members through an instant e-mail message sent from the Web site.

"I hope that women across the country will join me in breaking the silence about uterine fibroids. I'm sharing my story so that others will be more confident and empowered to speak up," added Johnson.

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