GYN Cancer - Endometrial/Uterine

Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer. Although the exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, increased levels of estrogen appear to have a role. Most cases of uterine cancer occur between the ages of 60 and 70 years but may occur before age 40.

While all women should have regular pelvic exams and Pap smears beginning at the onset of sexual activity, or at the age of 20 if not sexually active, Pap smears do not diagnose endometrial cancer. Women with any risk factors of endometrial cancer should be followed more closely by their doctors. The prognosis for endometrial (uterine) cancer is very good when diagnosed at an early stage.

Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • History of endometrial polyps or other benign growths of the uterine lining
  • Estrogen replacement therapy
  • Tamoxifen, a drug for breast cancer treatment
  • Diabetes
  • Never being pregnant
  • Starting menstruation at an early age (before age 12)
  • Infertility (inability to become pregnant)
  • Starting menopause after age 50

Symptoms

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding or any other of these symptoms listed below for endometrial cancer, particularly if  have any associated risk factors or if have not had a routine pelvic exam.

  • Bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation (periods)
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvic area

Exams and Tests

  • Pelivc ultrasound
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Dilation and curettage (D and C)

If cancer is found, other tests may be done to determine how widespread the cancer is and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging.

Treatment

Surgery
Using the latest state-art-of-the art technology, Northside provides alternatives to traditional open surgery for treating endometrial cancer including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Northside is ranked in the top five percent nationally for daVinci surgical procedures

If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for a robotic hysterectomy, one of the most effective, least invasive surgical treatment options for a range of uterine conditions. In 2006, Northside introduced robotic hysterectomy for oncology patients using the daVinci ®  Robotic System. Combining laparoscopic with robotic technology, this system allows our surgeons to perform more precise less invasive procedures. As a result, our patients experience reduced post-operative pain and shorter recovery times. 

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy may be used to treat endometrial cancer after surgery or as the primary therapy. Radiation therapy can reduce the risk of the cancer returning or for women who cannot have surgery. 

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a form of treatment used to stop cancer cells from growing. Women with stage 3 and 4 endometrial cancer may receive adjuvant chemotherapy, which means after surgery.

Nurse Navigators 
Phone:(404) 300-2571

Hereditary Counseling
Phone:(404) 851-6284


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