Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins from the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus or womb. It is also known as uterine cancer
The uterus is a hollow organ in females located in the pelvic organ, commonly called the womb. The uterus is where the fetal development occurs until birth. The uterus top is the fundus, which is connected to the fallopian tubes, the middle is the corpus, while the lower end is the cervix, which opens into the vagina. Endometrium is the inside layer of the uterus and mymometrium is the outer layer muscle.
Endometrial cancer is the unhealthy growth of cells that comprise of uterine tissue. These cells form a mass to form cancerous tumour (malignant) which grow and spread to other parts of the body or non-cancerous tumour (benign) which grow but do not spread.
Obesity is the key factor for the cause of Endometrial cancer. Other risk factors which would lead to abnormal endometrial growth are, women who have never had children, menses starting before 12 and finishing after the age of 55, taking tamoxifen, radiation to the pelvis, family history of uterine cancer, Lynch syndrome and estrogen replacement therapy after menopause, diet high in animal fat, diabetes, and age greater than 40.
Symptoms of Endometrial cancer include vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain while urinating or having sex and pelvic pains.
To diagnose Endometrial cancer pelvic exam, Pap test, biopsy and ultrasound are carried out and if required occasionally CT Scan or MRI are done to confirm the diagnose. What is the stage of the Endometrial cancer can be obtained by biopsy, CT scan, MRI or chest X-ray.
Treatment of Endometrial cancer depends on the age and general health of the patient and the stage of the cancer. Doctor may opt for one or more of the following treatment:
Surgery - This involves removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, part of the vagina and adjoining lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy - This involves giving high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams or protons either externally or internally in order to kill or damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and multiplying.
Hormone therapy – This requires another hormone called estrogen that is used on uterine cancer cells.
Chemotherapy – Drugs designed to kill cancer cells are given to patients and monitored by regular tests.
After the primary treatment of endometrial cancer is over, post operative care is very important. Regular physical examination with complete physicals and papanicolaou smears is required.
Recurrent endometrial cancer treatment of patients is very challenging and rarely results in cure.