Endometrial Cancer is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium. It is one of the most common types of gynecological cancers and primarily affects women after menopause, although it can occur in younger women as well.
The exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing the disease. These include:
Hormonal factors: Excessive estrogen exposure without sufficient progesterone levels, such as in women with estrogen hormone replacement therapy or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can increase the risk.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese can lead to higher estrogen levels, which can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Age: The risk of developing endometrial cancer increases with age, particularly after menopause.
Reproductive factors: Women who started menstruating at an early age, had late menopause, never had children, or experienced infertility are at a higher risk.
Genetic predisposition: Certain genetic conditions, such as Lynch syndrome, can increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Endometrial cancer may cause various symptoms, including:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, especially after menopause.
Pelvic pain or discomfort.
Pain during sexual intercourse.
Unintentional weight loss.
If endometrial cancer is suspected, the following diagnostic tests may be conducted:
Pelvic examination: The doctor examines the pelvic area to check for any abnormalities.
Transvaginal ultrasound: This imaging test uses sound waves to create pictures of the uterus.
Endometrial biopsy: A small sample of tissue is collected from the lining of the uterus for laboratory analysis.
Hysteroscopy: A thin, lighted tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus to examine the uterine lining.
Imaging tests: CT scan, MRI, or PET scan may be performed to determine the extent of the cancer.
Treatment options for endometrial cancer depend on the stage and severity of the disease. They may include:
Surgery: The primary treatment for endometrial cancer is often a hysterectomy, which involves removing the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Lymph node removal may also be performed.
Radiation therapy: High-energy X-rays or other radiation sources are used to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors.
Chemotherapy: Medications are used to kill cancer cells throughout the body, often used in advanced stages or after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Hormone therapy: Certain hormonal medications are used to block the effects of estrogen on cancer cells.
For an accurate diagnosis, a customized treatment plan, and continuous medical care, it’s crucial to speak with a gynecology expert.