Endometrial cancer initiates in the cells of the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus). It occurs when cells of the endometrium start to grow out of control and form an abnormal mass.
It is the second most common genital cancer that affects women in India. It mainly occurs in older women after menopause. If endometrial cancer has not spread to other organs, the 5-year survival rate is 95%.
Types of Endometrial Cancer
The common types of endometrial cancer are:
- Adenocarcinoma is the most common endometrial cancer that occurs in the glands of the endometrium.
- Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma occurs in the lining of the endometrium.
- Uterine Sarcoma develops in the myometrium (muscle wall) of the uterus.
Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer
The most common symptoms of endometrial cancer are:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding after menopause
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Losing weight
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen
- Changes in the heaviness or length of the menstrual period
- Difficulty in urination
If you experience any of the symptoms related to endometrial cancer or are at increased risk for developing cancer, you should consult a physician. At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the best endometrial cancer specialists in Nashik who are skilled at accurately diagnosing and treating endometrial cancers.
Causes of Endometrial Cancer
Many factors increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer, such as:
Increasing age (age above 50)
Diet rich in animal or saturated fat
Infertility or not having children
Getting periods at an early age
Having late menopause
Family history of endometrial cancer
Exposure to certain radiation and chemicals
Hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of irregular menstruation
Having ovarian or breast cancer in past
History of endometrial hyperplasia
Using birth control pills or an intrauterine device
Diagnosis of Endometrial Cancer
The following tests may be performed for the diagnosis of endometrial cancer:
- Physical Examination: The doctor physically examines the patient for symptoms and discusses the patient’s medical history, based on which additional tests will be recommended before arriving at a conclusive diagnosis.
- Blood Tests: Doctors may recommend blood tests to check for blood cell count as bleeding is one of the symptoms of endometrial cancer.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging tests like ultrasound, MRI scan, PET/CT scan, etc., are recommended to look for signs of cancer, determine the disease stage, devise a treatment plan, and monitor the treatment response.
- Biopsy: Biopsy is one of the most accurate ways to diagnose endometrial cancer. During this procedure, a small sample of uterine tissue is taken and examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.
Treatment for Endometrial Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center, which is one of the best endometrial cancer treatment hospitals in Nashik, delivers advanced and high-quality endometrial cancer management facilities. The doctor may use the following methods for the treatment of endometrial cancer:
Surgery: Surgery is the first choice of treatment for early-stage endometrial cancer. The doctor removes cancer and nearby healthy tissue surgically. The different types of surgery performed are:
- Total Hysterectomy where the complete uterus along with cervix is removed.
- Radical Hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, and part of the vagina.
- Unilateral/ Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy to remove one or both ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cancer from the uterus along with healthy tissue.
Chemotherapy: It is mainly used for high-grade endometrial cancers and for cancers that come back after treatment. It stops cancerous cell growth and kills them. It can be given orally or intravenously. The route of administration for chemotherapy depends on the stage of endometrial cancer. It can be given as a single drug or a combination of 2-3 drugs.
Immunotherapy: It helps the immune system differentiate cancerous cells from healthy cells and kill them. It is mainly used for advanced-stage endometrial cancer.
Targeted Therapy: The drugs or chemicals are used to identify and attack the cancerous cells. The different types of targeted therapy used for the treatment of endometrial cancer include:
- Monoclonal antibody therapy attacks a specific protein that helps cancer grow.
- Signal transduction inhibitor therapy works by blocking the passage of signals from one molecule to another, killing cancerous cells.
- mTOR inhibitor works by blocking the protein mTOR, which helps cancerous cells divide.
Radiation Therapy: The doctor uses radiation therapy for endometrial cancer when surgery is not possible or before surgery to shrink the tumor size or after surgery to get rid of the residual cells. It may be given along with chemotherapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is uterine or endometrial cancer the same?
Endometrial cancer is one type of uterine cancer. Both endometrial and uterine cancers occur in the uterus. Endometrial cancer is cancer of the endometrium layer of the uterus. The other type of cancer occurring in the uterus is uterine sarcoma.
2. Can I get pregnant after endometrial cancer?
Yes, you can still get pregnant after you have had endometrial cancer. But it depends on the type of treatment you have undergone, as the most common treatment method for endometrial cancer is hysterectomy, which involves the removal of the uterus. You should also consult your doctor before planning a pregnancy.
3. Can I get endometrial cancer after a hysterectomy?
The patient cannot get endometrial cancer if the entire uterus is removed.
4. How can I prevent endometrial cancer?
There are a few measures that you can take to reduce your endometrial cancer risk:
- You should have a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
- You should get screened regularly, at least once a year after menopause.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
For more information on how to reduce your endometrial cancer risk, please talk to you doctor.
5. Does having a family history of endometrial cancer increase the risk of disease?
A small percentage of endometrial cancers are associated with family history. Having certain genetic disorders that are passed on in families can also increase the risk of endometrial cancer.