What is endometrial cancer?
Endometrial cancer stems from the uterus. Initially, it grows in the cells of the uterine lining. Endometrial cancer may be referred to as uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer is often diagnosed early because it comes with abnormal bleeding, which is enough to scare women into a doctor visit.
Symptoms of endometrial cancer
Common signs of endometrial cancer include:
+ Postmenopausal bleeding
+ Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting
+ Abnormal vaginal discharge
+ Pelvic pain
If you notice any of the symptoms above, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
What causes endometrial cancer?
The actual cause of endometrial cancer is still unknown. The best explanation scientists can come up with is the mutation of the genes in the endometrium cells. A genetic mutation causes a normal and healthy cell to change. Healthy cells are created and die at a certain rate. Abnormal cells regenerate in an unexpected way and they do not die when they are supposed to. They tend to stick together into a mass, commonly known as a tumor. These abnormal cells can spread to other parts of the body.
How is endometrial cancer diagnosed?
Endometrial cancer can be diagnosed using:
+ Pelvic examination. In this procedure, your doctor will carefully examine the outside of your genital areas. Then your doctor will likely insert 2 fingers of one hand into your vagina and press the other hand against your belly at the same time to feel your uterus and ovaries. Also, your doctor will use a special instrument to open your vagina so that they can have a good view of your cervix.
+ Transvaginal ultrasound. A transvaginal ultrasound allows your doctor to look at the texture of the endometrium. During this procedure, your doctor will insert a device into your vaginal. The device uses sound waves to create an image of your uterus.
+ Hysteroscopy. Your doctor uses a scope to examine your uterine lining.
+ Endometrial biopsy. Your doctor will remove a little bit of your tissue for lab testing. This procedure can be done in your doctor’s office. You probably do not need an anesthesia.
+ Dilation and curettage. If a biopsy cannot get enough tissue or if there is uncertainty in the result, you will need a process called dilation and curettage. Basically, it is a simple surgery in which your doctor scrapes tissue from the lining of your uterus to analyze for cancerous cells.
What are treatment options?
Treatments for endometrial cancer include:
+ Surgery to remove the whole uterus
+ Radiation to kill off cancerous cells
+ Hormone therapy to adjust your hormone levels
+ Supportive care to help with the pain and other symptoms so that the patient can live a longer and more comfortable life.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.