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Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer Causes

The specific cause of endometrial cancer is currently unknown. However, recent research points to abnormal estrogen levels as a potential cause. In known cases, elevated levels of estrogen plus estrogen-producing factors have been observed. In addition, current research efforts are attempting to identify a genetic link to endometrial cancer.

Endometrial Cancer Definition

Endometrial cancer is a common type of cancer affecting most American women. Roughly forty thousand American women are diagnosed per year, making it the 4th most common female cancer. It begins in the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), and may also affect other cells of the uterus. It is alternatively known as uterine cancer, and usually appears as the female's reproductive period ends, usually at ages 60-70.

Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis

If endometrial cancer is suspected, a gynecologist needs to be consulted. A gynecologist will usually perform a pelvic exam to determine lumps or any anomalies in the uterus. To confirm the diagnosis, the physician may have to perform any of the following: an endometrial biopsy, a pap test, a transvaginal ultrasound, as well as dilation and curettage.

Endometrial Cancer Symptoms and Signs

A hallmark sign of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is easiest to detect among postmenopausal females whose menstrual periods have ceased. However, there are also cases where endometrial cancer occurs in women under 40 years of age. Other symptoms of endometrial cancer are: prolonged bleeding between periods; more frequent bleeding/spotting of the vagina in the years prior to menopause; any sign of bleeding post-menopause; vaginal discharges that are described as pinkish and watery; pain in the pelvis; pain during intercourse; and weight loss.

Endometrial Cancer Treatment

To treat endometrial cancer, surgical removal of the cancerous cell is the most common form of intervention. Most patients may have to undergo a hysterectomy, wherein the entire uterus is removed. Other modes of treatment for endometrial cancer include: radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. As in most types of cancers, success of treatment decreases as the cancer progresses.

Drugs used for treatment of Endometrial Cancer


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