Golden Globe-winning actress Sharon Stone shared on Instagram this week that she recently had a misdiagnosis that led to an incorrect procedure.

Stone said she underwent a double epidural catheter technique but still had lingering, worsening pain. 

Subsequently, Stone sought out a second opinion and was told she had a large fibroid tumor that must be removed. She added that she is on the road to recovery but implored her followers to seek out a second opinion to avoid similar health issues.

“Ladies in particular: Don’t get blown off GET A SECOND OPINION It can save your life,” she said in her post. 

Stone’s post has raised awareness of large fibroid tumors and prompted many to wonder what they are in the first place.

According to Mount Sinai, fibroids are the most common type of tumor found in female reproductive organs. Approximately 40% to 80% of people have fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths that originate in the muscular wall of the uterus. 

Many women who have fibroid tumors don’t have any symptoms, though some suffer from heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding, bloated abdomen and constipation.

The Cleveland Clinic said that small fibroids often don’t require a procedure, but larger fibroids can be treated with a variety of medication options or surgery like a myomectomy or a hysteroscopy. 

One oral medication option is elagolix, estradiol, and norethindrone acetate capsules, which is sold under the brand name Oriahnn by AbbVie. This therapy is indicated for management of heavy uterine bleeding for people who haven’t experienced menopause with systemic uterine fibroids.

While it’s “extremely rare” for fibroids to transform into a cancerous or malignant tumor, the organization stated that women who have fibroids grow during menopause should be evaluated immediately.

Additionally, Dr. Peter Rasmussen, Chief Clinical Officer at The Clinic at Cleveland Clinic, spoke about the perils of misdiagnosis facing patients.

“Each year, 12 million people face misdiagnosis, impacting their health, with tens of thousands losing their lives unnecessarily. One out of 10 patients with cancer, an infection or a major vascular event — like heart attack or stroke — never receive the proper treatment because of this,” Rasmussen said. “The numbers are even worse for women such as Stone who are disproportionately misdiagnosed. These cases are exactly why Cleveland Clinic and Amwell came together to form The Clinic at Cleveland Clinic, which specializes in Virtual Second Opinions and typically don’t require travel or additional tests.”

The Mayo Clinic added that there is little scientific evidence available about how to prevent fibroid tumors.