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.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer may include:
• Vaginal bleeding even after menopause
• Heavy bleeding during the periods or having prolonged periods longer than usual cycle.
• Abnormal, blood-tinged discharge from your vagina
• Pain in the lower abdominal or pelvic area
• A whitish discharge after going through menopause
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.
• Older age: 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: 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:
Pelvic Exam: The doctor will be deeply evaluated uterus, vagina, rectum, and bladder to check for the presence of abnormal mass (tumor)
Pap Test: This test is carried out to check the presence of atypical cells in the cervix and the upper part of your vagina.
Transvaginal Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves of high-frequency to obtain an image of your uterus.
Biopsy: In this surgical procedure, the doctor scraps off a tissue sample from your endometrium for further examination.
SurgeryWomen 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: 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.
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%.
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.