Breast Cancer?What is Breast Cancer?Read more...
Bone CancerWhat is Bone Cancer?Read more...
Bladder CancerWhat is Bladder Cancer?Read more...
Blood CancerWhat is Blood Cancer ?Read more...
Cervical CancerWhat is Cervical Cancer ?Read more...
Colon CancerWhat is Colon Cancer?Read more...
Esophageal CancerWhat is Esophageal Cancer?Read more...
Gallbladder CancerWhat is Gallbladder Cancer?Read more...
Gastric CancerWhat is Gastric Cancer?Read more...
Head and Neck CancersWhat are Head and Neck Cancers?Read more...
Hormone TherapyWhat is Hormone Therapy?Read more...
IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation TherapyRead more...
Kidney CancerWhat is Kidney Cancer?Read more...
Lung CancerWhat is Lung Cancer?Read more...
Liver CancerWhat is Liver Cancer?Read more...
Lymphoma CancerWhat is Lymphoma Cancer?Read more...
Oral CancerWhat is Oral Cancer?Read more...
Ovarian Cancer What is Ovarian Cancer?Read more...
Pancreatic CancerWhat is Pancreatic Cancer?Read more...
Prostate CancerWhat is Prostate Cancer?Read more...
Skin CancerWhat is Skin Cancer?Read more...
Uterine CancerWhat is Uterine Cancer?Read more...
What is Uterine Cancer?
Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. Uterine cancer begins when normal cells in the uterus change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body). Noncancerous conditions of the uterus include fibroids (benign tumors in the muscle of the uterus), endometriosis (endometrial tissue on the outside of the uterus or other organs), and endometrial hyperplasia (an increased number of cells in the uterine lining).
Types of Uterine Cancer
There are two major types of uterine cancer -
Adenocarcinoma - this type of cancer makes up more than 95% of uterine cancers. It develops from cells in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. This cancer is also commonly called endometrial cancer.
Sarcoma - this form of uterine cancer develops in the myometrium (the uterine muscle) or in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands. Sarcoma accounts for about 2% to 4% of uterine cancers.
Other, less common types of uterine cancer include carcinosarcoma and endometrial stromal sarcoma. Carcinosarcoma starts in the endometrium and is similar to both adenocarcinoma and sarcoma. Endometrial stromal sarcoma starts in the connective tissue of the endometrium. Treatment for these types of uterine cancer can be similar to the treatment of adenocarcinoma. Cancer specifically in the uterine cervix may be treated differently than uterine cancer.
Symptoms of Uterine Cancer
A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as pain, while a sign can be detected by others as well as, for example a skin rash. The following are examples of signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer -
The following symptoms are possible in the more advanced stages of the disease -
Some women also experience pain when urinating, while others have difficulties in emptying their bladder.
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Causes of Uterine Cancer
The exact cause of cancer of the uterus is unknown, but some factors seem to increase a woman’s risk -
Stages of Uterine Cancer
Stage 0 - the abnormal cells are found only on the surface of the inner lining of the uterus. The doctor may call this carcinoma in situ.
Stage I - the tumor has grown through the inner lining of the uterus to the endometrium. It may have invaded the myometrium.
Stage II - the tumor has invaded the cervix.
Stage III - the tumor has grown through the uterus to reach nearby tissues, such as the vagina or a lymph node.
Stage IV - the tumor has invaded the bladder or intestine. Or, cancer cells have spread to parts of the body far away from the uterus, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.
Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer
Pap test - to see whether the cancer has spread to the cervix.
Blood tests - to measure levels of CA-125, which rise in the presence of cancer. Blood tests can also show how well the kidneys and liver are functioning.
Chest x-ray - to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lung(s).
CT (computed tomography) scan - a medical imaging method that employs tomography, the process of generating a two-dimensional image of a slice or section through a 3-dimensional object (a tomogram), in this case of the pelvis, abdomen or chest.
The patient may have contrast material injected, to see whether the lymph nodes are affected. A CT scan can tell the doctor whether there is cancer in the uterus, lungs, lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan - a large machine that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body, in this case the uterus and lymph nodes. Sometimes contrast material may be injected into the patient. MRI can reveal cancer in the uterus, lymph nodes and elsewhere.
Treatment of Uterine Cancer
The most common treatment for womb cancer is the surgical removal of the womb (hysterectomy). A hysterectomy can cure womb cancer in its early stages, but you will no longer be able to get pregnant. Surgery for womb cancer is also likely to include the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Radiotherapy or chemotherapy are also sometimes used, often in conjunction with surgery.
A type of hormone therapy may be used if you are yet to go through the menopause and would still like to have children.
Even if your cancer is advanced and the chances of a cure are small, treatment can still help to relieve symptoms and prolong your life.
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"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama