Endometrial Cancer ranks at 4th position out of all cancers in females. In 2015, the UK government had conducted a survey in which 5% of new endometrial cancer cases were recorded.
Do you know that in the UK, over 27% of women were diagnosed with endometrial cancer who are 75 years or above? This statistics implies that this form of cancer is directly proportional to age. The older the woman is, the more she is prone to this type of cancer.
Out of all these shocking facts, the best thing to read about it that it is highly curable if detected early. Before proceeding further, let’s read about it, signs & symptoms, treatment available.
Endometrial Cancer – What is it?
A form of cancer that hits the lining of the uterus. Approximately one million Indian women are diagnosed with it. It mostly hit women between the ages 55-75.
Signs & Symptoms
Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is the key sign. Abnormal bleeding refers to bleeding between your menstrual cycle or menopause. Although it doesn’t occur during the menopause, it can start during the onset of menopause. The most likely symptoms are:
- Nine out of 10 women who experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding may lead to endometrial cancer. It can be understood when a woman goes through irregular heavy bleeding during her menstrual cycle before her menopause phase. As soon as she enters her menopause with any vaginal bleeding, she is put on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Although HRT could cause her to bleed during postmenopausal phase, that sample would be checked by a physician to check whether she has endometrial cancer or not. In such cases, 15% of women have endometrial cancer. There are several best gynecologist hospital in India with fully-facilitated HRT equipment.
- The color of discharge may range from pink to watery or thick brown with foul odor.
- Painful urination.
- Painful intercourse.
- An enlarged uterus.
- Sudden and unexpected weight loss.
- If cancer has spread to other organs, then she may experience fatigue or pain in the lower abdomen, legs or back.
Endometrial Cancer – Diagnosis & Treatment
A doctor will ask the patient to get her urine and blood tested. Other possible tests are:
The doctor inserts a wand-like instrument into the vagina that generates high-frequency waves at the uterus. The pattern of the echoes generated that creates a picture. Before the ultrasound test, saltwater is placed inside the uterus to get an accurate picture. This process is known as sonohystogram. If the endometrium is too thick or irregular, the doctor may conduct endometrial biopsy or dilation & curettage (D&C) depending on the situation.
It is a process in which a tissue sample from the uterus is taken and tested. If a biopsy is positive, the doctor will ask to get order imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI. The doctor may also perform exploratory surgery in which the abdomen is opened to check how far the disease has spread.
Treatments Required To Cure Endometrial Cancer
Surgery is the conventional form of treatment and proven to be effective if a woman develops severe endometrial cancer. In surgical process which is also known as total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and ovaries are removed.
If the tumor cells have grown to other parts of the body, then the patient is given radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy post surgery to kill the remaining cancerous cells. However, in some cases, the patient is recommended radiation when the tumor is large but has not spread to other parts. If cancer has widespread, then the patient may be given progesterone to slow down the growth rate of cancer cells followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to reduce the size and number of tumors. It may lead to permanent relief from symptoms. If the treatment is able to destroy tumors from other organs and the cancer is restricted to uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes or ovaries, the doctor may perform surgery.
Once a woman undergoes treatment, it becomes difficult to cope up with emotional mood swings. In such cases, counseling is helpful after hysterectomy.
Survival Rate of Endometrial Cancer
If cancer is detected at stage I, then there are 90-95 percent chances of five-year survival rate which reduces to 75 percent if detected at stage II. On the other hand, if it is detected at stage III, the five-year survival rate gets reduced to 60 percent. If it is caught at stage IV, the chances left are 15-26 percent.
If in any case, you develop any sign or symptom, consult with as soon as possible to avoid further problems.