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Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Uterine cancer occurs when cells in the body experience abnormal and uncontrolled growth in the uterus or uterus. Check out the full explanation of the symptoms and how to treat it below.

Uterine Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What is Uterine Cancer?

Uterine cancer refers to various cancers that develop around the uterus, such as endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. This condition is prone to occur in women who are over 50 years old

The uterus itself is a hollow pelvic organ and its shape resembles a pear. This location is where the development of the fetus occurs.

Uterine Cancer Symptoms

The most common symptoms of uterine cancer are vaginal bleeding and abnormal vaginal discharge. Some of the other symptoms that can occur include:

  • Vaginal bleeding between periods before menopause.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or cramps in the pelvic area, just below the stomach.
  • Bleeding or spotting after menopause. Even if the number is small, be aware of the possibility of this condition.
  • Thin or clear vaginal discharge after menopause.
  • Vaginal bleeding that is ongoing and in large quantities. Especially if you are over 40 years old.

When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?

Immediately consult a doctor if you suspect symptoms, such as bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge.

Causes of Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer occurs when cells in the uterus grow abnormally and uncontrollably. Ultimately, a mass known as a tumor forms.

However, until now it is not known exactly why this condition can occur.

However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of experiencing this, including:

  • Age: A woman who is over 50 years of age is more at risk of developing uterine cancer.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of various diseases, cancer being one of them.
  • Family history: Having a family history of similar conditions is more at risk of this disease.
  • Hormone: An imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone causes changes in the endometrium that can potentially trigger cancer.
  • Ovarian disease: People with problems with the ovaries may have a greater risk of developing uterine cancer.
  • Diabetes: This disease is related to obesity. Both are risk factors for cancer.
  • Reproductive organ problems: Early menstruation, late menopause, long menstrual periods, and not getting pregnant.
  • Treatment history: Have had radiation therapy, estrogen replacement therapy, and use of tamoxifen.

How Common is Uterine Cancer?

How often or rarely this disease depends on the type of cancer suffered. If the disease suffered is endometrial cancer, then the case is classified as common. Meanwhile, uterine sarcoma is a rare type of uterine cancer.

Also Read: Can you get pregnant again even though the uterus is descending (uterine prolapse)?

Uterine Cancer Diagnosis

The doctor will ask a number of questions such as the symptoms being felt, factors that might increase the risk, and family history. In addition, the doctor will also carry out a physical examination and pelvic examination.

A number of Investigations that can be carried out include:

1. Blood Test

The CA-125 test is taking a blood sample to determine the level of protein in it. The amount will determine whether or not cancer is present in the body.

2. Imaging Test

This test is performed to provide an overview of the condition of the uterus so that abnormal cells due to cancer can be detected. Some of the checks that can be done include:

  • Computerized tomography scan (ct scans).
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Transvaginal ultrasound.

3. Other Tests

In addition to some of the tests above, the doctor will also perform a series of other tests to determine the diagnosis. Some of these checks include:

  • Biopsy: The doctor will insert a thin tube into the uterus through the cervix (cervix). Then, tissue samples from the endometrium are taken for examination.
  • Hysteroscopy: A hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus to provide a more detailed view of the uterus. This tool is a thin tube that is equipped with a light and a camera.
  • Dilation and curettage: This is a minor surgical procedure to remove tissue in the uterus.

Types of Uterine Cancer

There are two types of cancer that can attack the uterus, including:

1. Endometrial cancer

This condition occurs when cancer cells grow in the inner uterus (endometrium). If not treated further, cancer can attack other organs of the body.

Endometrial cancer develops slowly so regular checkups are needed to prevent the cancer from getting worse.

2. Uterine Sarcoma

This condition develops in the muscular walls of the uterus or myometrium. This type of cancer is relatively rare.

Uterine Cancer Stage

Uterine cancer can be differentiated based on the stage or severity of the condition. The following is an explanation:

  • Stage I: Cancer cells are still in the uterus.
  • Stage II: Cancer cells have spread to the cervical organs.
  • Stage III: Cancer cells begin to spread to the vagina, ovaries and lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV: Cancer cells have spread to organs that are quite far from the uterus, such as the bladder, bones, and lungs.

Read Also: Enlarged Uterus, But Not Pregnant? This is the Cause

Uterine Cancer Treatment

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer you are suffering from. But in general, several treatments are undertaken, including:

1. Operation

Most cases of cancer of the uterus require surgery. Surgery is performed to remove the tumor.

In addition, the doctor may also recommend surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy). However, this depends on the type of cancer you have and your overall health.

2. Radiotherapy

Therapy is done to eradicate remaining cancer cells, as well as stop their growth.

3. Chemotherapy

The doctor will prescribe drugs to eradicate cancer cells. Some of the drugs commonly used in chemotherapy, namely paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and cisplatin.

4. Hormone therapy

The therapy works by depriving cancer cells of access to the hormones they need to grow. Doctors may recommend this treatment with other treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

5. Targeted Therapy

This therapy is done to prevent gene mutations. An example of a drug commonly used in targeted therapy is cetuximab.

Uterine Cancer Prevention

Although this condition cannot be completely prevented, you can reduce it The risk of getting this disease in several ways, including:

  • Manage diabetes.
  • Maintain ideal body weight.
  • Consider using oral contraceptives.

If you detect abnormal bleeding and vaginal discharge, don’t delay checking with your doctor.

  1. Anonymous. 2021. Dilation and Curettage (D & C).–c. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. Hormone Therapy for Cancer. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. 2022. Uterine Cancer. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  4. Anonymous. 2022. Endometrial Cancer. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  5. Anonymous. Uterine Cancer-Patient Version. (Accessed February 23, 2023).

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