Endometrial cancer is a disease of old women. Obesity ,Inherited syndromes, Patients with breast cancer who are on tamoxifen therapy are risk factors. Post Menopausal bleeding,inter menstrual bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse are main symptoms. If detected early, treatments are satisfactory. Surgery involving removal of uterus, ovaries and nodes is main modality of treatment. Radiation
therapy is often used as adjuvant therapy.
Endometrial Cancer is a type of cancer that arises in the lining of the uterus called endometrium. Although it is distinct from other types of uterine cancers, endometrial cancer is sometimes referred to as uterine cancer. It starts when the cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) begin to grow out of control.
Causes and Risk Factors
The real cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, mostly it occurs due to genetic mutation within the cells of the endometrium, which turns normal cells to abnormal and the abnormal cells accumulate to form tumor.
There are some factors that increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer, they are:
- Obesity: the excess body fat due to obesity alters the body’s balance of hormones and increase the risk
- Age: It mostly occurs in women who have undergone menopause because the risk increases as you get older
- Menstruation: beginning of menstruation at an early age or starting menopause later
- Never having pregnant: women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk
- Inherited colon cancer syndrome: HNPCC (Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer) is an inherited syndrome that increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer and other cancers like colon cancer
- Taking hormone therapy drug tamoxifen for breast cancer increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer
The symptoms that may point to endometrial cancer are a few, about 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer have abnormal vaginal bleeding not related to menstruation but this may sometimes occur with some non-cancerous conditions too. Sometimes non-bloody discharge may also be a sign of endometrial cancer.
The following are the other symptoms caused by endometrial cancer; it may be because of some other conditions too. So check with your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain or feeling a mass in the pelvic area
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Watery or blood-tinged discharge from vagina
- Bleeding in between menstrual cycles
The following are the procedures and test to diagnose endometrial cancer:
- Physical exam and history
- Transvaginal ultrasound exam
- Pelvic exam
- CT Scan
- MRI scan
- PET scan
- Endometrial Biopsy
- Dilatation and curettage
The treatment for endometrial cancer depends on the characteristics and the stage of the cancer. The following are the treatment options that the doctor will recommend depending upon your overall health and preferences:
- Surgery: to remove cancerous cells
- Radiation Therapy: which uses high energy X rays to kill the cancerous cells
- Hormone Therapy: that removes or blocks the action of hormones to stop the growth of cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy: which uses drugs to kill the cancer cells or stop cancer cells from dividing
Dr Shiva Kumar is one of the best oncologist in Bangalore, provides comprehensive and highly specialized treatment for all types of cancers. He is now working as consultant oncologist in North Bangalore Hospital, which is one of the best multispecialty hospital with advanced technologies and facilities.
Authored By : Dr. Shiva Kumar Uppala