Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer

Overview

The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Cancer of this endometrium is called endometrial cancer, also sometimes known as uterine cancer. While other types of cancers in the uterus can also happen, endometrial cancer is more common.

Signs and Symptoms

Because this cancer causes bleeding in the vagina, it can be detected early. Signs include:

  • Bleeding after attaining menopause
  • Bleeding in between cycles of periods
  • Pain in the pelvic area

Causes and Risk Factors

Normally the cells in the body have a life cycle – they grow, multiply and die. However, cancer cells are cells that have mutated. They grow very fast and do not die. As a result, they form tumours. The exact cause for cells becoming cancer cells is not known. A few risk factors however, have been identified.

  • Any health condition that leads to hormonal imbalance
  • Early set in of menstrual cycle
  • Late menopause
  • Old age
  • Being overweight
  • Being treated with hormones for other conditions
  • Lynch syndrome

Complications

Endometrial cancer can cause anaemia. Anaemia will manifest as dizziness, fatigue, headache, pain in the chest, palpitations and breathlessness.

Diagnosis

  • Complete pelvic examination
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Hysteroscopy to examine the uterus
  • Biopsy of endometrium
  • Dilation and curettage

Surgery/Treatment

Treatment depends on how far the cancer has progressed. To determine this, a chest x-ray, CT scan and PET scan may be done. The results will help the doctor classify the stage of cancer and begin appropriate treatment.

  • Surgical removal of uterus and associated organs – this will make pregnancy impossible. The doctor will discuss the implications of surgery in detail before deciding on it. During surgery, sometimes the lymph node may be removed for further testing to determine the cancer spread.
  • Chemotherapy – using chemicals to kill cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy – using radiation to kill cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy – boosting the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells
  • Palliative care for pain relief
  • Hormone therapy – to reduce the hormones the cancer cells rely on for growth

Prevention

  • Patients on hormone therapy can discuss alternative treatment options with their doctor. The pros and cons of hormone therapy need to be weighed.
  • Tablets for birth control are thought to possibly prevent endometrial cancer.
  • Maintaining ideal weight helps reduce endometrial cancer risk.

We are with you in your journey to better health

A consultation with our panel of doctors, specialists and surgeons will help you determine what kind of services you may need to help diagnose and treat your condition. If you or someone in your family or friend’s circle are facing any health issues, please get in touch with us, we are here for you.