What Is Uterine Cancer, Causes, Types, Signs And Treatment
According to report, more women in the U.S. are developing and dying from uterine cancer than they were twenty years ago, and black women are “disproportionately” affected, a new report finds.
Now the question that comes to the mind is what are the major causes of this dangerous sickness. And if you look at it from different aspect, I actually think lifestyle has much role to why women are vulnerable to cancer than they were. But in this article, I have put together some much important guide that would educate you about:
- What Is Uterine cancer.
- Little history Uterine cancer.
- Types of Uterine cancer.
- The cause of Uterine cancer.
- Signs and symptoms of Uterine cancer.
- Diagnosis of Uterine cancer.
- When to see your Doctor.
- Uterine Cancer treatment.
With all this alighted information to talk above, you can best learn how to seek solutions at early stage which would be the best solution to anyone with Uterine Cancer symptom.
What is Uterine Cancer?
Cancer of the uterine endometrium, also known as endometrial cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the inner lining of your uterus.
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Uterine cancer is the most common cancer occurring in a woman’s reproductive system. Uterine cancer begins when healthy cells in the uterus change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor can grow but generally will not invade other tissues.
Noncancerous conditions of the uterus include:
- Fibroids:Benign tumors in the muscle of the uterus
- Benign polyps:Abnormal growths in the lining of the uterus
- Endometriosis:A condition in which endometrial tissue, which usually lines the inside of the uterus, is found on the outside of the uterus or other organs.
Uterine cancer is one of the few cancers in the U.S. for which incidence and death rates are on the rise, according to the report, published (Dec. 6) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Uterine Cancer History
From 1999 to 2015, rates of uterine cancer increased by 12 percent, from around 24 cases per 100,000 women in 1999 to 27 cases per 100,000 women in 2015, the report said. From 1999 to 2016, rates of death from uterine cancer increased by 21 percent, from around 4 deaths per 100,000 women in 1999 to 5 deaths per 100,000 women in 2016.
Incidence rates among black women were particularly notable, the report said. For example, although the rates of uterine cancer were the same for white and black women in 2015, black women saw a 46 percent increase from 1999, compared with a 9 percent increase for white women. Black and white women had higher incidence rates of uterine cancer than Alaskan Indian/Native American, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Island women.
What’s more, the report found that black women were “approximately twice as likely to die from uterine cancer” compared with women in other racial and ethnic groups. One potential explanation for this disparity, the authors noted, is that the odds of surviving uterine cancer are higher when the disease is detected at an early stage, but black women were more likely than other women to be diagnosed at a later stage.
2 Major Types Of Uterine Cancer
There are two major types of uterine cancer that can occur when a woman get infected by this deadly cancer, which are:
- This type makes up more than 80% of uterine cancers. It develops from cells in the endometrium. This cancer is commonly called endometrial cancer. One common endometrial adenocarcinoma is called endometrioid carcinoma, and treatment varies depending on the grade of the tumor, how far it goes into the uterus, and the stage or extent of disease (see Stages and Grades).
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- This type of uterine cancer develops in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands or in the myometrium, which is the uterine muscle. Sarcoma accounts for about 2% to 4% of uterine cancers. In most situations, sarcomas are treated differently than adenocarcinomas. Types of endometrial sarcoma include leiomyosarcoma and endometrial stromal sarcoma.
Causes of Uterine Cancer
The exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown. Some medical experts suspect that high levels of estrogen might be responsible for this disease. Progesterone and estrogen are female sex hormones produced in the ovaries. When the balance of these two hormones changes, the endometrium can change. Research has shown that increased estrogen without corresponding increased progesterone can thicken the endometrium and potentially increase the likelihood of cancer.
Other factors that could contribute to the increase include insufficient physical activity, increasing rates of diabetes and the decreasing use of certain hormone therapies.
Because screening tests are not recommended for uterine cancer (a cancer test can spot the disease before symptoms start), the authors stressed the importance of increasing the awareness of early symptoms of this disease.
Signs and Symptoms Uterine Cancer
Sometimes, women with uterine cancer do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.
Indeed, if women experience any of the this symptom to be mentioned below, they should seek prompt medical attention. The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, ranging from a watery and blood-streaked flow to a flow that contains more blood. Vaginal bleeding, during or after menopause, is often a sign of a problem.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge. For premenopausal women, this includes menorrhagia, which is an abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding, and/or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
- Abnormal Pap test results
- Difficulty or pain when urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the pelvic area
If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions.
Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer
Doctors use many tests to find, or diagnose, cancer. They do tests to learn whether cancer has spread to a different part of the body from where it started
For most types of cancer, a biopsy is the only sure way for the doctor to know whether an area of the body has cancer. In a biopsy, the doctor takes a small sample of tissue for testing in a laboratory. If a biopsy is not possible, the doctor may suggest other tests that will help make a diagnosis.
Not all tests listed will be used for every woman. Your doctor may consider these factors when choosing a diagnostic test:
- The type of cancer suspected
- Your signs and symptoms
- Your age and medical condition
- The results of previous medical tests
In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose uterine cancer:
- Pelvic examination.The doctor feels the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and rectum to check for any unusual findings. A Pap test, often done with a pelvic examination, is primarily used to check for cervical cancer. Sometimes a Pap test may find abnormal glandular cells, which are caused by uterine cancer.
- Endometrial biopsy.A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other tests can suggest that cancer is present, but only a biopsy can make a definite diagnosis. A pathologist analyzes the sample(s).
- Transvaginal ultrasound.An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of internal organs. In a transvaginal ultrasound, an ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina and aimed at the uterus to obtain the pictures. If the endometrium looks too thick, the doctor may decide to perform a biopsy.
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan.A CT scan creates a 3-dimensional picture of the inside of the body using x-rays taken from different angles. A computer combines these images into a detailed, cross-sectional view that shows any abnormalities or tumors. A CT scan can be used to measure the tumor’s size. Sometimes, a special dye called a contrast medium is given before the scan to provide better detail on the image.
After diagnostic tests are done, your doctor will review the results with you. If the diagnosis is cancer, additional testing will be performed to discover how far the disease has grown. This helps to categorize the disease by stage and directs the type of treatment that will be needed.
When to see your Doctor?
You should make an appointment with your doctor if you have any symptoms associated with endometrial cancer. However, keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by several other noncancerous conditions.
The most common symptom is unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting. This symptom often occurs as a normal part of the menopause process, but should still be brought up to your doctor as a precaution.
However, you should always call your doctor right away if you experience vaginal bleeding after you have completed menopause.
Postmenopausal bleeding is defined as bleeding that occurs after 12 months of no menstrual periods in a woman who is at the expected age of menopause.
Other symptoms Uterine Cancer include:
- Thin clear or whitish discharge if you’ve been through menopause
- Bleeding in between periods or having periods that last longer than usual
- Heavy bleeding, bleeding that lasts a long time, or frequent bleeding if you’re over 40
- Lower Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Painful Intercourse
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Uterine Cancer Treatment
There are several ways to treat endometrial cancer. Your treatment options depend on which stage of cancer you have, your overall health, and your personal preferences.
Most women with this cancer have a hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus. Another common procedure is a salpingo-oophorectomy, which involves removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Having surgery also gives your doctor a chance to check around your uterus to see if the cancer has spread.
This type of treatment uses high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. There are two different types of radiation therapy available. The first is called external beam radiation therapy, in which the radiation is delivered to the tumor from a machine that is outside of your body. The second is called brachytherapy, which involves placing radioactive material inside your vagina or uterus.
The radiation that is used in brachytherapy only works in short distances. This allows your doctor to give you a high dose of radiation and have less of an effect on your healthy tissues.
Chemotherapy drugs contain chemicals that destroy cancer cells. They can be taken in pill form or through your veins from an intravenous line. Some treatment plans involve one drug, while others involve two or more drugs. This form of treatment may be used alone or combined with radiation.
This type of treatment uses medications to change your hormone levels. Your doctor might recommend hormone therapy if you have a more advanced stage of cancer. Some medications increase your progesterone levels, which can help prevent cancer cells from growing rapidly. Other medications lower your estrogen levels, to decrease the growth of cancer cells.