Endometrial cancer is an of cancer that belongs to the uterus as it begins there. The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ which is only present in women. The uterus is the site of fetal development. Endometrial cancer begins due to the abnormal growth cell in the lining of the uterus called endometrium. Endometrial cancer is sometimes also called uterine cancer. However, endometrial cancer is not the only type of cancer that begins in the uterus, other types of cancer such as uterine sarcoma also form in the uterine, but it is much but less common than endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is often diagnosed in the initial stages as the symptoms start from early on, and are abnormal, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, which may prompt women to visit the doctor immediately.
Endometrial cancer, if, discovered early, can be treated completely as the doctor removes the uterus surgically. However, if the endometrial cancer treatment doesn't begin on time, it has a huge chance of spreading to the bladder or rectum, and can also reach out to the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and event distant organs. Fortunately, in endometrial cancer, the tumor grows at a slow rate. Thus, if you get regular checkups, endometrial cancer is usually diagnosed and can be treated before spreading very far.
If a patient has abnormal cells under a microscope, their doctor may classify them as belonging to a certain subset. Endometroid adenocarcinoma is the most frequent form of endometrial cancer. Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in glandular tissue. Under the microscope, endometrioid cancer appears extremely similar to normal uterine lining because it begins in the glands of the endometrium. The severity varies according to the individual. Endometrial cancer may also take a variety of different forms.
The inside of the uterus is the site of origin for uterine papillary serous carcinoma, a less common kind of endometrial and uterine cancer. Even if a doctor manages to catch HPV in its earliest stages, it has a nasty habit of coming back.
Similarly uncommon but more dangerous is uterine carcinosarcoma, which may affect both the endometrium and the uterus. This indicates rapid development, growth, or dissemination.
Even fewer than five percent of women are diagnosed with uterine clear cell carcinoma, making it one of the rarest forms of the disease.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer may include:
The exact cause of endometrial cancer is still unknown. However, due to a genetic mutation of the cells in the endometrium, the abnormal cell growth begins. It is due to a genetic mutation that the normal, healthy cells turn into abnormal cells. These abnormal cells do not die, but grow and multiply at a very fast rate, also killing the healthy cells. When these abnormal cells accumulate, they a thick mass which is called tumor. These cancer cells spread out so quickly, that they also enter into the tissues of nearby organs and can metastasize to different parts of the body. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of getting endometrial cancer. They are:
Hormonal imbalance in the female body
Your ovaries synthesize mainly two female hormones: estrogen and progesterone. When there is an imbalance of both these hormones, some changes are caused in your endometrium.If there is a condition in the body which causes an increase in the amount of estrogen, but not the level of progesterone, then your chances of getting endometrial cancer also increase. Examples such as irregular ovulation over months can be due to the presence of the polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity and diabetes. Sometimes intake of hormonal supplements which contain but not progesterone after menopause is also known to increase the risk of gettinf endometrial cancer. A rare type of ovarian tumor that secretes estrogen also can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Long years of menstruation
If your menstruation starts at an early age, like before 12 years of age or if the menopause begins much later, then the risk of endometrial cancer also increases. The endometrium gets a larger exposure to estrogen if you have a long period cycle through your life.
No case of pregnancy
Women who have never been pregnant in their lifetime carry a higher risk of getting endometrial cancer in comparison to women who have had at least one pregnancy.
With age too, the risk of getting endometrial cancer increases. This can be said because endometrial cancer occurs most often in women who have undergone menopause.
Obesity is one of the leading risk factors in getting cancer. This may occur because excess body fat alters your body's balance of hormones.
Hormone therapy for breast cancer
Women who have previously had breast cancer may have undergone the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen. However, this hormone therapy increases the risk of getting endometrial cancer.
An inherited colon cancer syndrome
Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a syndrome which is responsible for increasing the risk of endometrial cancer. HNPCC occurs as a result of a gene mutation which is genetically inherited. If a family member has been diagnosed with HNPCC, then you should discuss your risk as well of getting the syndrome.
When you face one or more symptoms of endometrial cancer, you are highly advised to visit the doctor for further diagnosis. After your initial consultation with the doctor, the doctor may run several tests:
The doctor will be deeply evaluated uterus, vagina, rectum, and bladder to check for the presence of abnormal mass (tumor).
This test is carried out to check the presence of atypical cells in the cervix and the upper part of your vagina.
This test uses sound waves of high-frequency to obtain an image of your uterus.
In this surgical procedure, the doctor scraps off a tissue sample from your endometrium for further examination.
Women suffering from endometrial cancer may have a hysterectomy done in which the doctor removes the entire uterus.
Salpingo-oophorectomy is another common procedure, in which the doctor removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Chemotherapy is another common form of endometrial cancer treatment which is done over several weeks via administration of drugs via several kinds of injections to kill the cancer cells: drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA), or via intraperitoneal (IP)Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is an endometrial cancer treatment that is widely used to treat inoperable tumor cells. Radiation Therapy consists of X-rays or even stronger waves like the Ultra-violet (UV) rays. In some cases, chemotherapy is coupled with radiation therapy for a more effective ovarian cancer treatment.
In this type of endometrial cancer treatment, the doctor prescribes some medications to alter your hormone levels. At a more advanced stage of cancer, the doctor may suggest hormone therapy. The medications are given in the hormone therapy increase the level of progesterone in the body, thereby preventing the rapid growth of cancer cells from growing rapidly.
Cancer diagnostic and staging tests may be repeated. To evaluate the efficacy of the therapy, we will need to repeat certain tests. The findings of these examinations might influence the decision to modify or discontinue therapy. After treatment, you may still need to undergo some tests periodically. These tests might reveal if your situation has altered or if cancer has returned. Checkups and other forms of monitoring are referred to as follow-up testing.
If the endometrial cancer is diagnosed in early stages, it is called “local,” and the 5-year survival rate is about 95%. If cancer within the region, then the 5-year survival rate is about 69%. If it is diagnosed after cancer has spread into other areas of the body, the survival rate is 16%.
The proportion of persons still living after a certain time, often 5 years after a cancer diagnosis, may be estimated using survival rates. While they can't predict how long you'll survive, they can provide insight into the potential effectiveness of your therapy. It's important to remember that survival statistics are just estimates; they're based on the experiences of many individuals who've had the same disease before, but they can't tell you how you or anybody else will fare. It's natural to feel confused after reading these numbers. Talk to your doctor about how these percentages may relate to your case.
Endometrial cancer has an 81% survival rate when measured over five years. Among those who get a diagnosis, 81% are still living five years later. When the malignancy is confined to the uterus, the success rate becomes even more. Then, it may go as high as 95%. Survival rates have increased along with the availability of better treatments.
Different variables, such as the stage of the tumor and whether or not it has spread, might affect the outlook for endometrial cancer. Factors such as:
Those who are older when they are diagnosed with endometrial cancer often have a worse prognosis than those who are younger when they are diagnosed with the disease.
India is now one of the best destinations for cancer treatment. Endometrial cancer treatment in India is not only a great treatment in terms of quality but is also cost-effective.
Endometrial cancer cells can metastasize or spread to other areas of the body, such as the vagina or the liver, where they may develop. It is referred to as metastasis when cancer cells behave in this manner. However, the kind of cancer a patient has is determined by the cells from which the tumor first developed. Therefore, endometrium cancer is still referred to as endometrial cancer even if it has migrated to other organs, such as the liver.
You may be able to reduce your chance of acquiring endometrial cancer by following certain guidelines.