The uterine cancer or the endometrial cancer is the abnormal growth of any cells comprising the uterine tissue. The uterus is a hollow organ in females located in the pelvis and commonly called the womb. It function is to support the fetal development until birth.
Types of Uterine Cancer
The uterine cancer can be endometrial cancer or the less common uterine sarcoma.
- Endometrial Cancers: Most cancers of uterus begin in the lining of the uterus and called as endometrial cancers. There are two main types of endometrial cancer:
- Type 1 Cancers are the most common types of endometrial cancer and often require less intensive treatment.
- Type 2 Cancers are much less common types of endometrial cancer and include the malignant mixed Mullerian tumors, clear cell carcinoma and serous carcinoma. The treatment includes more invasive surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
- Uterine Sarcomas: They develop in the muscle of the uterus (myometrium) or the connective tissue which supports the endometrium called as stroma. There are 3 types which are rare and more likely to spread to other parts of the body:
- Endometrial stromal sarcoma
- Undifferentiated sarcoma
Causes for Uterine Cancer
Usually, the doctor’s cannot explain why one woman gets uterine cancer, however, we know that women with certain risk factors have higher risks to develop uterine cancer.
Studies have found the following risk factors for uterine cancer:
- Abnormal overgrowth of the endomterium or the endometrial hyperplasia: Often this most common after the age 40. To prevent this from developing into cancer, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the uterus i.e. hysterectomy or the hormone therapy with progesterone and regular follow-up exams.
- Obesity: Obese women have greater chance of developing uterine cancer.
- History of taking estrogen alone: Uterine cancer risk is higher in women taking estrogen alone for menopausal hormone therapy for many years.
- Reproductive and menstrual history: Women who never had children, had their first menstrual period before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55.
- History of taking tamoxifen: Women who took it to prevent or treat breast cancer.
- Family health history: Women with a mother, sister or daughter with uterine cancer.
- History of having radiation therapy to the pelvis: Women who had radiation therapy to the pelvis are at increased risk of uterine cancer.
Common signs & symptoms of Uterine Cancer
The most common sign and symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include:
- Spotting or discharge
- Pain during sex
- Pain or difficulty when emptying the bladder
- Pain in the pelvic area
Women with these symptoms should tell their doctor so that any problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
The uterine cancer is diagnosed with a pelvic exam, biopsy and ultrasound. The uterine cancer stages (0 to IV) are determined with chest X-ray, MRI or CT scans and biopsy. Your doctor will ask for physical exam and blood tests.
Treatment for Uterine Cancer
The treatment for uterine cancer depends mainly on whether:
- The tumor has invaded the muscle layer of the uterus
- The tumor has invaded tissues outside the uterus
- The tumor has spread to other parts of the body
- The grade of the tumor
- Your age and general health
The treatment for uterine cancer includes: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery.
It is the most common treatment for women with uterine cancer. Talk with your doctor about the types of surgery or hysterectomy to know which will be right for you. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the uterus, cervix and nearby tissues such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, part of the vagina and nearby lymph nodes. The recovery time post surgery is different for each woman. After a hysterectomy, most women can go home in a couple of days but some women may leave the hospital the same day. You’ll be able to return back to your normal activities within 4 to 8 weeks post surgery. Some of you may feel pain for the first few days. Medicines can help relieve your pain. Discuss with your doctor as what to expect before, during and after the surgery.
India Laparoscopy Surgery Site offers the low cost endometrial surgery for treating uterine cancer. Send us your query to know the details about the uterine cancer treatment at the best hospitals in India.