Dr Sarthak Sidapara

Endometrial cancer

What is Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer also called endometrial carcinoma, develops in the cells of the inner edging of the uterus. This is the most common type of cancer that starts in the uterus. Endometrial cancer begins when cells in the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) start to grow uncontrollably.

Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body. Abnormal vaginal bleeding, spotting, or other discharge are the most common symptoms of endometrial cancer. If you observe any of these symptoms of CA endometrium, consult a doctor.

Endometrial cancer symptoms

Endometrial cancer is actually one that has pretty easy symptoms to spot. So most women with uterine cancer present with bleeding during menopause. Once women go through menopause, which defines as no periods for one year, they should not have any further vaginal bleeding.

So, anytime you have bleeding after the time you are in menopause, that is abnormal, and that should prompt an evaluation by a gynecologist.

The other symptoms include a sudden change in the menstrual cycle’s length or heavy bleeding during the period. Other potential symptoms for uterine cancer include pain in the lower abdomen or the pelvis section. You can feel pain during or after sex.

When to see a doctor

Whenever you experience any of these symptoms, it is better to call the best gynecologist. Though these symptoms are not a sign of a severe condition, you should get checked out.

A doctor will guide to identify the exact problem and recommend the appropriate treatment for the disease.

Endometrial cancer causes

Most of the time, it is difficult to find out the exact reason for Endometrial cancer. Experts say that changes in progesterone and estrogen in the body play a crucial role in uterine cancer. If the sex hormone fluctuates, it may affect the endometrium.

Fortunately, the majority of women who are present with endometrial cancer are found at an early stage. The reason for that is that women will often develop abnormal uterine bleeding. Most endometrial cancers occur in women after menopause, which means they have stopped their period for several years.

And then, all of a sudden will start to have bleeding. Any bleeding after menopause, whether it be just blood strain or significant flow, needs to be evaluated, and it needs to be worked up to prove that it is not cancer in the uterine lining.

Types of endometrial cancer

Now, let’s check out different types of endometrial cancer. According to the American Cancer Society’s report, most of the cases of uterine cancer are adenocarcinomas. It developed from the glandular tissue.

The standard form of uterine cancer includes squamous cell, small cell carcinoma, uterine carcinosarcoma, serous carcinoma. There are different types of uterine cancer, and they can be classified into two types.

Type 1: In type 1, the cancer tissue’s growth rate is slow and does not spread quickly to the other body parts.

Type 2: In this type, the cancer cells are more active, and they aggressively spread outside the uterus very quickly.

Endometrial cancer risk factors

The risk factors developing cancer of the uterus include obesity. Women who are obese are six times more likely to grow at endometrial cancer than the average weight population.

Multiple reasons are explaining why this increased risk of endometrial cancer exists. Women with relatively high levels of circulating and prolonged estrogen influence increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer during pregnancy

Cancer during pregnancy is rare, but it can occur. Thankfully, pregnant women with cancer can give birth to healthy babies as cancer rarely affects the baby directly. However, handling cancer during pregnancy is intensely complex.

So, a health care team with great experience needs to treat pregnant women with cancer. Surgery is considered the safest treatment option during all stages of pregnancy. It causes a little risk to the germinating baby.

During the second and third trimesters, consider chemotherapy as a safe choice. The placenta builds fencing around the baby, which blocks some types of chemotherapy drugs to pass through. This leaves the baby unaffected. However, some types of chemotherapy can still cause indirect harm to the baby.

Some side effects that cause impact the mother, such as anemia and malnutrition, give rise to a threat to the baby. Chemotherapy drugs also have the possibility to cause early labor and low birth weight. The use of chemotherapy during the first trimester mainly gets discouraged, as it results in birth defects or miscarriage.

Complications of endometrial cancer

The main complication of endometrial cancer is abnormal bleeding from the vagina. Apart from that, vaginal bleeding after menopause. You can also feel pain during or after sex or pain in the lower abdomen. If you are suffering from pain or feel unwanted periods, it is better to consult with the best gynecologist. They will diagnose the problem by doing necessary tests and then guide you with the best treatment.

Tests to diagnose endometrial cancer

If you find some of the symptoms responsible for endometrial cancer, immediately make an appointment with the gynecologist. First of all, the doctor will interrogate you about the problem and check the medical history. They will advise you to do some necessary tests such as endometrial biopsy, Hysteroscopy, Dilation, and curettage (D&C).
  • In an Endometrial biopsy, the doctor will diagnose your cervix into the uterus by putting a thin, flexible tube. They will remove a small piece of tissue from the endometrium through the line.
  • In the Hysteroscopy test, the doctor will insert a flexible tube with a camera in the cervix into the uterus. Through this, they will visually examine the problem and collect the samples of abnormalities.
  • The last test that will help to diagnose endometrial cancer is Dilation and Curettage (D&C). In case the biopsy result is not exact or unable to understand, they will advise you to do Dilation and Curettage (D&C). In this procedure, they dilate the cervix and use a unique tool to scrape tissue from the uterus. After collecting the sample, they will send the sample to the laboratory. There, the professional will test the model correctly and send the report to the doctor. A doctor will then understand what is the actual problem and then start your treatment accordingly.

Endometrial cancer staging and treatment options

As mentioned in the early section, endometrial cancer is found at a very early age. If you do not feel any symptoms, the cancer cell will spread very slowly from the uterus to other parts of the body. Scientists classified cancer mainly in four stages. Read the below section to know the four steps.

Stage 1: In the first stage, the cancer is only present in the uterus.

Stage 2: In stage number 2, the cancer cell started to spread, and it attacked the cervix portion of your body.

Stage 3: Now, in this stage, the cancer cell spread over and outside the uterus and fallopian tube. It can also attack the ovaries and vagina in this stage. The majority of the patients can be cured by doing surgery followed by radiation therapy locally.

Stage 4: This is the last stage. In this, cancer spreads beyond the uterus and pelvic area. The cancer cell is also applied in the bladder, kidney, and other body parts. The person who is in stage 4, they consult with the doctor regularly. Patients who are present in phase 4 are essentially treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Advanced stages that are stage 4 disease patients require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Endometrial cancer prevention

By doing some home remedies, you can lower down the risk of developing uterine cancer. Some treatments are explained in the section below:

  • Manage your weight: As mentioned in the early section, the problem generally occurs in overweight or obese individuals. To prevent the spread of endometrial cancer cells, you have to lose weight. You should follow an individual diet chart and intake healthy food and vegetables.
  • Get Regular Exercise: A healthy and physically fit body can resist endometrial cancer. Therefore, you should do at least 1 hr of freehand exercise to fit your body. It also has other benefits.
  • Take Help when you find abnormal vaginal bleeding: When you find abnormal bleeding from the vagina or severe pain, immediately consult with the doctor. They will guide you in the best possible way.
  • Check the Advantage and Disadvantages of Hormone Therapy: Always get in touch with the doctor. In case you are thinking about Hormone Therapy, consult with the doctor. They have years of experience, and they will do things better than you.
  • Do not hide something from the doctor: The best doctor will always guide you with the best advice. Hence, do not hide anything from them. Tell everything about the problem. Also, tell in case your family has a history of Lynch syndrome. Then the doctor might advise you to do the necessary tests.

Endometrial cancer survival rate

Most of the time, the disease is found at the early stage; hence, it can be cured. Therefore the survival rate for a specific stage is 90 %. Maintaining the weight, doing some exercise regularly, and consulting with the doctor will purely cure endometrial cancer. Every treatment and diagnosis will help improve the long-term outlook.

Endometrial cancer treatment costs

It is not possible to mention the treatment cost of endometrial cancer. If you are in stage 1, you have to spend less than those in phase 4.