Posted on: 17 October 2019
The endometrium is a layer of cells that forms the lining of the uterus, and when cancerous cells grow along the endometrium, sufferers can be faced with losing the ability to carry a child. Endometrial cancer also brings with it the risk of the cancerous cells spreading to surrounding tissue and organs, so early diagnosis and treatment are vital. Here's an overview of the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for endometrial cancer:
Causes And Symptoms
It's not fully understood why some women develop endometrial cancer, but there are several factors that are thought to increase your chance of developing this type of cancer. These risk factors include being obese, being post-menopausal and having had previous hormone therapy for breast cancer. Women who have never been pregnant also have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Symptoms of this condition include pelvic pain and changes to your menstrual cycle. Women typically experience episodes of bleeding between menstruation and menstruation may be heavier or last for longer than normal. If you are post-menopausal and have any vaginal bleeding, you should be examined with the possibility of endometrial cancer in mind.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
To diagnose endometrial cancer, your doctor will take details of your symptoms and examine your pelvis using a speculum. This is a small metal device used during smear tests and it allows your doctor visually inspect around your cervix. They will also carry out a hysteroscopy, which involves having a thin tube with a lens on the end of it inserted into your uterus to view the endometrium in more detail. Surgical tools can also be inserted into the tube to allow your doctor to take tissue biopsies from the endometrium. These biopsies will be analysed for the presence of cancerous cells.
The main treatment for endometrial cancer is surgical removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This will cause you to enter into menopause, and you will be unable to have children after this surgery. If you are still of child-bearing age and the cancer is in the early stages, your doctor may discuss trying radiation therapy of chemotherapy as a first-line treatment before surgery. The aim would be to kill cancerous cells before they spread to other parts of your body, but there is the chance of endometrial cancer returning after this type of treatment, so you would need to be checked over regularly.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with endometrial cancer, or if you have any concerns about your reproductive health, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. For more information on women's health care, consult a resource in your area.Share