Advertisement

Endometrial Cancer and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Endometrial Cancer 


DEFINITION

Endometrial Cancer is a type of Cancer that begins in the uterus. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where fetal development occurs.

Endometrial Cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Endometrial Cancer is sometimes called uterine Cancer. Other types of Cancer can form in the uterus, including uterine Sarcoma, but they are much less common than endometrial Cancer.

Endometrial Cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which prompts women to see their doctors. If endometrial Cancer is discovered early, removing the uterus surgically often cures endometrial Cancer.

SYMPTOMS

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
  • Pain during intercourse

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you, such as vaginal bleeding or discharge not related to your periods, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse.

CAUSES

Doctors don't know what causes endometrial Cancer. What's known is that something occurs to create a genetic mutation within cells in the endometrium the lining of the uterus.

The genetic mutation turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Abnormal cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die at a set time. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (Tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can separate from an initial Tumor to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasize).

RISK FACTORS

Factors that increase the risk of endometrial Cancer include:

  • Changes in the balance of female hormones in the body. Your ovaries make two main female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Fluctuations in the balance of these hormones cause changes in your endometrium.

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 can occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, Obesity and Diabetes. Taking hormones after Menopause that contain estrogen but not progesterone increases the risk of endometrial Cancer.

A rare type of ovarian Tumor that secretes estrogen also can increase the risk of endometrial Cancer.

  • More years of menstruation. Starting menstruation at an early age before age 12 or beginning Menopause later increases the risk of endometrial Cancer. The more periods you've had, the more exposure your endometrium has had to estrogen.
  • Never having been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk of endometrial Cancer than do women who have had at least one pregnancy.
  • Older age. As you get older, your risk of endometrial Cancer increases. The majority of endometrial Cancer occurs in older women who have undergone Menopause.
  • Obesity. Being obese increases your risk of endometrial Cancer. This may occur because excess body fat alters your body's balance of hormones.
  • Hormone therapy for Breast cancer. Women with Breast cancer who take the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen have an increased risk of developing endometrial Cancer. If you're taking tamoxifen, discuss this risk with your doctor. For most women, the benefits of tamoxifen outweigh the small risk of 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, including endometrial Cancer. HNPCC occurs because of a gene mutation passed from parents to children. If a family member has been diagnosed with HNPCC, discuss your risk of the genetic syndrome with your doctor. If you've been diagnosed with HNPCC, ask your doctor what Cancer screening tests you should undergo.

COMPLICATIONS

Endometrial Cancer can spread to other parts of your body, making it more difficult to treat successfully. Endometrial Cancer that spreads (metastasizes) most often travels to the lungs.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Tests and procedures used to diagnose endometrial Cancer include:

  • Pelvic examination. During a pelvic exam, your doctor carefully inspects the outer portion of your genitals (vulva), and then inserts two fingers of one hand into your vagina and simultaneously presses the other hand on your abdomen to feel your uterus and ovaries. He or she also inserts a device called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum opens your vagina so that your doctor can view your vagina and cervix for abnormalities.
  • Using sound waves to create a picture of your uterus. Your doctor may recommend a transvaginal ultrasound to look at the thickness and texture of the endometrium and help rule out other conditions. In this procedure, a wand-like device (transducer) is inserted into your vagina. The transducer uses sound waves to create a video image of your uterus. This test helps your doctor look for abnormalities in your uterine lining.
  • Using a scope to examine your endometrium. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible, lighted tube (hysteroscope) through your vagina and cervix into your uterus. A lens on the hysteroscope allows your doctor to examine the inside of your uterus and the endometrium.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing. To get a sample of cells from inside your uterus, you'll likely undergo an endometrial biopsy. This involves removing tissue from your uterine lining for laboratory analysis. Endometrial biopsy may be done in your doctor's office and usually doesn't require anesthesia.
  • Performing surgery to remove tissue for testing. If enough tissue can't be obtained during a biopsy or if the biopsy results are unclear, you'll likely need to undergo a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C). During D&C, tissue is scraped from the lining of your uterus and examined under a microscope for Cancer cells.

If endometrial Cancer is found, you'll likely be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating Cancers involving the female reproductive system (gynecologic oncologist).

Staging endometrial Cancer

Once your Cancer has been diagnosed, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of your Cancer. Tests used to determine your Cancer's stage may include a chest X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, positron emission tomography (PET) scan and blood tests. The final determination of your Cancer's stage may not be made until after you undergo surgery to treat your Cancer.

Stages of endometrial Cancer include:

  • Stage I Cancer is found only in your uterus.
  • Stage II Cancer is present in both the uterus and cervix.
  • Stage III Cancer has spread beyond the uterus, but hasn't reached the rectum and bladder. The pelvic area lymph nodes may be involved.
  • Stage IV Cancer has spread past the pelvic region and can affect the bladder, rectum and more-distant parts of your body.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Your options for treating your endometrial Cancer will depend on the characteristics of your Cancer, such as the stage, your general health and your preferences.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the uterus is recommended for most women with endometrial Cancer. Most women with endometrial Cancer undergo a procedure to remove the uterus (hysterectomy), as well as to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries (salpingo-oophorectomy). A hysterectomy makes it impossible for you to have children in the future. Also, once your ovaries are removed, you'll experience Menopause, if you haven't already.

During surgery, your surgeon will also inspect the areas around your uterus to look for signs that Cancer has spread. Your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes for testing. This helps determine your Cancer's stage.

Radiation

Radiation therapy uses powerful energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill Cancer cells. In some instances, your doctor may recommend radiation to reduce your risk of a Cancer recurrence after surgery. In certain situations, radiation therapy may also be recommended before surgery, to shrink a Tumor and make it easier to remove.

If you aren't healthy enough to undergo surgery, you may opt for radiation therapy only. In women with advanced endometrial Cancer, radiation therapy may help control Cancer-related pain.

Radiation therapy can involve:

  • Radiation from a machine outside your body. Called external beam radiation, during this procedure you lie on a table while a machine directs radiation to specific points on your body.
  • Radiation placed inside your body. Internal radiation (brachytherapy) involves placing a radiation-filled device, such as small seeds, wires or a cylinder, inside your vagina for a short period of time.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy involves taking medications that affect hormone levels in the body. Hormone therapy may be an option if you have advanced endometrial Cancer that has spread beyond the uterus. Options include:

  • Medications to increase the amount of progesterone in your body. Synthetic progestin, a form of the hormone progesterone, may help stop endometrial Cancer cells from growing.
  • Medications to reduce the amount of estrogen in your body. Hormone therapy drugs can help lower the levels of estrogen in your body or make it difficult for your body to use the available estrogen. Endometrial Cancer cells that rely on estrogen to help them grow may die in response to these medications.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill Cancer cells. You may receive one chemotherapy drug, or two or more drugs can be used in combination. You may receive chemotherapy drugs by pill (orally) or through your veins (intravenously). Chemotherapy may be recommended for women with advanced or recurrent endometrial Cancer that has spread beyond the uterus. These drugs enter your bloodstream and then travel through your body, killing Cancer cells.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

To reduce your risk of endometrial Cancer, you may wish to:

  • Talk to your doctor about the risks of hormone therapy after Menopause. If you're considering hormone replacement therapy to help control Menopause symptoms, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Unless you've undergone a hysterectomy, replacing estrogen alone after Menopause may increase your risk of endometrial Cancer. Taking a combination of estrogen and progestin can reduce this risk. Hormone therapy carries other risks, such as a possible increase in the risk of Breast cancer, so weigh the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Consider taking birth control pills. Using oral contraceptives for at least one year may reduce endometrial Cancer risk. The risk reduction is thought to last for several years after you stop taking oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives have side effects, though, so discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases the risk of endometrial Cancer, so work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, increase your physical activity and reduce the number of calories you eat each day.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Exercise may reduce your risk of endometrial Cancer. Add physical activity into your daily routine. Try to exercise 30 minutes most days of the week. If you can exercise more, that's even better.

More Latest Articles

Endometriosis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Endometriosis

Symptoms Causes & Risk Factors Diagnosis & Tests Treatment & drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus the endometrium grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves y...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encephalitis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment & drugs and Complications of Encephalitis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis & Tests Treatment and drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause Flu-like symptoms, such as a Fever or severe headache. It can also cau...
>>>Continue Reading...

Bell's palsy and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Bell's palsy

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment Drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Bell's palsy causes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. This makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.

Bell's palsy, al...
>>>Continue Reading...

Factitious disorder and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Factitious disorder

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment and drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Factitious disorder is a serious mental disorder in which someone deceives others by appearing sick, by purposely getting sick, or by self-injury. Factitious disorder symptoms can range from mild (slight exagg...
>>>Continue Reading...

Bell's palsy and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Bell's palsy

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Bell's palsy causes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. This makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.

Bell's palsy, al...
>>>Continue Reading...

Eisenmenger syndrome and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Eisenmenger syndrome

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Eisenmenger syndrome is a complication of a heart defect that you're born with (congenital). A heart defect that causes a hole (shunt) to develop between two chambers of your heart is the most common cause...
>>>Continue Reading...

Pulmonary embolism and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Pulmonary embolism

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or, rarely, other parts of ...
>>>Continue Reading...

Emphysema and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Emphysema

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Emphysema gradually damages the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs, making you progressively more short of breath. Emphysema is one of several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encephalitis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encephalitis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause Flu-like symptoms, such as a Fever or severe headache. It can also cau...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impact...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impact...
>>>Continue Reading...

Atrioventricular canal defect and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Atrioventricular canal defect 

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Atrioventricular canal defect is a combination of several abnormalities in the heart present at birth (congenital abnormalities). This defect, which is sometimes called endocardial cushion defect or atriovent...
>>>Continue Reading...

Endocarditis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Endocarditis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium).

Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread thr...
>>>Continue Reading...

Endometrial Cancer and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Endometrial Cancer 

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endometrial Cancer is a type of Cancer that begins in the uterus. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where fetal development occurs.

Endometrial Cancer begins in the la...
>>>Continue Reading...

Uterine polyps(endometrial polyps) and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Uterine polyps(endometrial polyps)

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Uterine polyps are growths attached to the inner wall of the uterus that extend into the uterine cavity. Overgrowth of cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) leads to the formation of Uterine polyps...
>>>Continue Reading...