Endometrial cancer is also known as uterine cancer. This cancer starts in the layer of cells that form in the lining of the uterus. There are different types of uterine cancer, one of the most common types starts in the endometrium, and this type is also called endometrial cancer, the ones that occur in the muscle or supporting stromal tissue of uterine wall, called uterine sarcomas which are relatively rare.
Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer may include:
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding between periods
- An abnormal, watery or blood-tinged discharge from your vagina
- Pelvic pain
It is detected at an early stage as it constantly produces unusual vaginal bleeding, which triggers the women to visit their doctors. If in case the endometrial cancer is discovered early, then removing the uterus surgically cures this type of cancer.
Factors that increase the risk of endometrial cancer include:
- Older age
- Hyperestrogenic states. A disease or condition that increases the amount of estrogen, but not the level of progesterone, in your body can increase your risk of endometrial cancer. Examples include irregular ovulation patterns, such as those that can occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity and diabetes. Taking hormones after menopause that contain estrogen but not progesterone also increases the risk of endometrial cancer.
- Early menstruation and late menopause. This increase the duration of exposure of endometrium to estrogen and thereby increasing the chances of endometrial cancer
- Nulliparity. Women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk of endometrial cancer than do women who have had at least one pregnancy.
- Obesity Being obese increases one’s risk of endometrial cancer. This happens because of peripheral conversion of hormones in the adipose tissue.
- Hormone therapy for breast cancer. Women with breast cancer who take the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer
- An inherited colon cancer syndrome. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a syndrome that increases the risk of colon cancer and other cancers, especially endometrial cancer. HNPCC occurs because of a gene mutation passed from parents to children. The doctor may ask for cancer test s that includes a pelvic exam, imaging tests, and a biopsy. One of the most common treatments is a hysterectomy; it is a procedure wherein the uterus is removed, if enquired the surgery also removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes and addressing the draining lymph nodes by either sentinel lymph node excision or complete lymphadenectomy depending on a case-to-case scenario. Post-surgery the need for adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy can be discussed for individual cases.
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