Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that affects the uterus initially. The uterus is a pear-shaped and hollow pelvic organ in women where the development of fetus occurs. This cancer is also known as uterine cancer and it begins in the layer of cells that form the lining of the uterus which is known as endometrium. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects the uterus. This cancer is generally detected in women when they are young as they suffer from abnormal vaginal bleeding and they have to consult a doctor. Endometrial cancer be easily cured if it is diagnosed early and uterus is surgically removed.
The cause of endometrial cancer is not properly known. However, it is known that this ailment occurs due to a genetic mutation within cells in the endometrium. This genetic mutation causes healthy cells to turn into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate and they also die at a set time. But, on the other hand, abnormal cells multiply at an abnormal rate and they don’t even die at a set time. When these abnormal cells accumulate, they form a mass or tumor. Cancer cells affect the nearby healthy cells and can spread to other cells of the body.
The treatment for endometric cancer depends on what stage the cancer is in, the general health of the patient and the preference of the person concerned. The different types of treatment include surgery to remove the uterus, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and supportive palliative care.
Most women with endometrial cancer has to get their uterus removed surgically. She has to undergo hysterectomy to remove the uterus and also salpino-oophorectomy to remove the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. The surgeon generally inspects the areas around the uterus to find out if the cancer is spreading. However, a hysterectomy will make it impossible for a woman to bear children in the future.
A doctor may recommend radiation to reduce the risks of cancer affecting the individual again. Radiation therapy, which uses X-rays and protons, may also be used before surgery to reduce a tumor and thereby make it easier to remove. Radiation therapy may also be recommended for people who are not healthy enough to undergo surgery. Radiation therapy can be given from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation) and also by placing a radiation-filled device like small seeds, cylinder or a wire inside the vagina.
Hormone therapy requires having medications that affect the hormone levels and it is recommended if a person suffers from advanced endometrial cancer. Synthetic progestin helps to stop the endometrial cancer cells from growing further while medications that reduce the amount of estrogen in the body help to kill the endometrial cancer cells that depend on estrogen.Women with recurrent or advanced form of endometric cancer are generally given chemotherapy. One drug or a combination of drugs can be used. The chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally in the form of pills or in the form of injections that is injected through the veins. The chemotherapy drugs travel through the blood stream and kill the cancer cells.
A person is eligible for treatment of endometric cancer if she suffers from some of the symptoms like: bleeding between periods, abnormal, blood-tinged discharge from the vagina, vaginal bleeding after menopause and pelvic pain. A person is eligible only after a doctor has diagnosed her to be suffering from this ailment.
A person is not eligible if she does not suffer from any of the symptoms associated with endometrial cancer. However, a doctor may recommend tests and procedures like pelvic examination, use of sound waves to create a picture of the uterus, using a hysteroscope to examine the endometrium and finally endometrial biopsy by removing a sample of cells from the uterus. However, if enough tissues cannot be obtained during a biopsy, a procedure called dilation and curettage to get the tissues for testing.
The side-effects of hysterectomy include blood clots in the legs or lungs, heavy bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, infection, early menopause and breathing and heart problems. The most common side effects of radiation therapy include fatigue, a sense of tiredness and general weakness. Some of the side effects that occur during the treatment phase are skin reactions, fatigue and side-effects that are specific to the area under treatment. The side-effects of hormone therapy include erectile dysfunction, greater risk of heart attacks and diabetes, decreased muscle mass, anemia, problems with the memory and the increased risk of fracture.
Some of the post-treatment guidelines include finding out about the disease that you are suffering from. You should also talk to the doctor regarding the stage of the cancer, how you should get treated and what are the side-effects. This will help you to deal with your condition better. Keep your friends and family close as connecting with them will help you to tide over the period of crisis. Lead as normal a life as possible.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy have their effects on the human body for a few weeks or months till after the surgery. So a person who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy would require a few weeks or months to return to normal life. A person undergoing surgical procedures like hysterectomy will also require some time to get back to normal physical activities.
Radiation therapy can come in different packages. However, two cycles of radiation therapy can cost around Rs 2,47,000. 50 mg of Aldactone, which is anti-androgen or testosterone blocker, can be obtained for Rs 25. One sheet of 100 mg Aldactone costs Rs 100. The cost of chemotherapy is roughly Rs 200000.
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatment may help a person to deal with the symptoms of endometrial cancer. However there are certain risk factors that may cause the ailment to recur again. The risk factors include changes in the balance of female hormones in the body, more years of menstruation, old age, never being pregnant, obesity and inherited colon cancer syndrome. So the results of the treatment may not be permanent.
RS 25 - Rs 2,47000
Minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery is increasingly becoming popular in all fields of surgery including gynecological oncology. Given its many advantages, it is easy to see why people prefer this form of surgery. The use of laparoscopy in the field of gynecological oncology began in the late 1980s. The first laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy was performed in 1989.
Laparoscopy and Endometrial Cancer
The endometrium refers to the lining of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is rare are usually affect women over the age of 55 years. A hysterectomy is one of the forms of treatment for this condition. If detected in its early stages, this hysterectomy may be performed laparoscopically. As compared to traditional surgery, this reduces the hospital stay required and is associated with fewer postoperative complications. Laparoscopy may also be used to restage patients who have already undergone a hysterectomy.
Laparoscopy and Cervical Cancer
The lowermost part of the uterus is known as the cervix. A pap smear can help in the early detection of cervical cancer. This can be treated surgically in the form of a lymphadenectomy or a radical hysterectomy. One of the factors crucial to the management of this type of cancer is an evaluation of the lymph nodes. This is where laparoscopy is very useful. As in the case of endometrial cancer, laparoscopy may also be used for a hysterectomy procedure. A laparoscopic lymphadenectomy may also be performed to investigate the extent to which the cancer has spread. Advanced stages of cervical cancer can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. In such cases, the role of laparoscopy may be limited to staging the patient before treatment.
Laparoscopy and Adnexal Masses
Adnexal masses refer to ovarian abnormalities and development of masses in the fallopian tubes, uterus and other organs in the pelvic cavity. Laparoscopy is routinely used to treat benign Adnexal masses. It can also be used in the management of malignant adnexal masses. However, its role is less clearly defined in such cases. When using laparoscopic procedures to address adnexal masses, it is important to identify benign masses beforehand.
Laparoscopy and Uterine Cancer
Laparoscopy can be used in a number of ways when it comes to the management and treatment of uterine cancer. These include staging apparent early stage cancer, determining the extent of the disease and resectability potential and to reassess a patient in cases of recurrent cancer. A hand assisted laparoscopy may also be used to resect the disease in some cases.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, leiomyomas, or fibromas, are firm, compact tumors that are made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that develop in the uterus. It is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. Some estimates state that only about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a doctor during a physical examination.
In more than 99 percent of fibroid cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous). These tumors are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman's risk for uterine cancer. They may range in size, from the size of a pea to the size of a softball or small grapefruit.
Causes: While it is not clearly known what causes fibroids, it is believed that each tumor develops from an aberrant muscle cell in the uterus, which multiplies rapidly because of the influence of estrogen.
Some women who have fibroids have no symptoms, or have only mild symptoms, while other women have more severe, disruptive symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms for uterine fibroids:
Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
Pelvic pain (caused as the tumor presses on pelvic organs)
Low back pain
Pain during intercourse
A firm mass, often located near the middle of the pelvis, which can be felt by the doctor on examination
Diagnosis: Fibroids are most often found during a routine pelvic examination. This, along with an abdominal examination, may indicate a firm, irregular pelvic mass to the physician. In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic and/or abdominal examination, diagnostic procedures for uterine fibroids may include:
Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography). An ultrasound test using a small instrument called a transducer, that is placed in the vagina.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A non-invasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure.
Hysterosalpingography. X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes that use dye and is often performed to rule out tubal obstruction.
Hysteroscopy. Visual examination of the canal of the cervix and the interior of the uterus using a viewing instrument (hysteroscope) inserted through the vagina.
Blood test (to check for iron-deficiency anemia if heavy bleeding is caused by the tumor).
Treatment: Since most fibroids stop growing or may even shrink as a woman approaches menopause, the doctor may simply suggest "watchful waiting." With this approach, the doctor monitors the woman's symptoms carefully to ensure that there are no significant changes or developments and that the fibroids are not growing.
In women whose fibroids are large or are causing significant symptoms, treatment may be necessary. Treatment will be determined by the doctor based on:
Your overall health and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Your desire for pregnancy
In general, treatment for fibroids may include:
Hysterectomy. Hysterectomies involve the surgical removal of the entire uterus.
Conservative surgical therapy. Conservative surgical therapy uses a procedure called a myomectomy. With this approach, physicians will remove the fibroids, but leave the uterus intact to enable a future pregnancy.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists). This approach lowers levels of estrogen and triggers a "medical menopause." Sometimes GnRH agonists are used to shrink the fibroid, making surgical treatment easier.
Anti-hormonal agents. Certain drugs oppose estrogen (such as progestin and Danazol), and appear effective in treating fibroids. Anti-progestins, which block the action of progesterone, are also sometimes used.
Uterine artery embolization. Also called uterine fibroid embolization, uterine artery embolization (UAE) is a newer minimally-invasive (without a large abdominal incision) technique. The arteries supplying blood to the fibroids are identified, then embolized (blocked off). The embolization cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, thus shrinking them. Health care providers continue to evaluate the long-term implications of this procedure on fertility and regrowth of the fibroid tissue.
Anti-inflammatory painkillers. This type of drug is often effective for women who experience occasional pelvic pain or discomfort. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
What is menopause?
Menopause is that phase in the life of a woman when she can no longer reproduce. It involves the loss of fertility and the cessation of the menstrual cycle. The woman will stop bleeding every month and the ovaries stop producing eggs that can be fertilized. Menopause normally sets on after the age of 40 and bleeding may permanently stop by the age of 50.
Post menopausal bleeding
You are known to reach menopause when you have not been bleeding for 1 entire year. Even a small amount of spotting should not have taken place. Post-menopausal bleeding is when bleeding occurs after a year of attaining menopause. It can be a serious health disorder and requires medical attention without any further delay.
Reasons behind post menopausal bleeding
How it can be treated?
Cervical cancer is a form of cancer which occurs in the cervix or the lower part of the uterus in women, which opens up into the vagina. Its different from the other cancers that occur in other parts of the uterus and has a high rate of being cured if detected early.
Causes of Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer is usually caused when abnormal cells present in the cervix, get out of control. Usually, major cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus gets transmitted from one person to another by sexual means or sexual contact. Abnormal changes in the cervix cells lead to cervical cancer. Usually, cell changes occur in the transformation zone in the cervix as the cells tend to change constantly, thereby leading to cancer.
How it can be diagnosed?
A routine screening test should be undertaken to observe any abnormal cell changes in the cervix and also for the screening for cervical cancer. Taking regular Pap smear test is recommended to detect abnormal cell changes so that cervical cancer can be prevented before hand. Other diagnostic tests include, Colposcopy and cervical biopsy to determine the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix, Endocervical biopsy and Cone biopsy.
Treatment options available:
Cervical cancer can be treated when detected at an early stage. The type of treatment depends on the stage and type of cervical cancer. The most common treatment methods are as follows:
Pelvic cancer is caused by abnormal cell changes in the pelvis. It is a common kind of cancer and can cause negative effects on the health. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for treating pelvic cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Mirena is a contraception that can be inserted into the uterus for long term use. This insertion is done with a proper clinical procedure. The Mirena is a device that may be classified as a hormonal Intrauterine device (IUD). This device releases a kind of progestin, which prevents the sperm from travelling to the egg to fertilise it. This hormone basically makes the cervical mucus thick and makes the uterine lining thin, so that ovulation gets suppressed.
Let us get to know more about the procedure and the results of Mirena Insertion.
Reasons: There are a variety of reasons why women use this kind of long term contraception. After insertion, one does not need to have any interruptions in the act of sex in order to look for and use contraception. It also reduces the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. This kind of disease is usually caused by sexually transmitted diseases. This kind of device can also help in bringing down the pain experienced during menstrual cycles. It also reduces the risk of falling prey to endometrial cancer as well as cervical cancer.
Eligibility: You are not an eligible candidate for this kind of procedure if you have suffered from breast cancer, cervical cancer or liver disease. Also, if you suffer from diabetes or other cardiovascular diseases, then it is not safe to go through this procedure.
Procedure: The procedure will be carried out at the doctor’s clinic. The gynaecologist will insert a speculum into your vagina. Then, the doctor will continue to clean the area including the cervix with the help of an antiseptic solution. Thereafter, a special instrument will be used in order to align the uterine cavity with the cervical canal. During this process, the doctor will also measure the depth of the patient’s uterine cavity. The device will then be folded and placed within an applicator tube, which will be inserted into the cervical canal. Then, the applicator tube will be removed. After this, the device will remain in place.
Result: Once the device has been inserted, it will be effective for a period of at least five years. Every month, you will need to get the strings of the device checked so that they are not protruding from the cervix. You may experience side effects like pain during sex as well as others like headaches and persistent migraines. These must be reported to the doctor so that the doctor may deal with any complications.
Removal: If there are any kinds of complications and risks that may develop after the procedure, the doctor can remove this device. This can be done with the help of forceps. The device can also be removed and replaced after five years. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.