Cancer that originates in the uterus is termed as Endometrial Cancers. The cancer is known to originate in the endometrium i.e. lining as well as the cells of the uterus. Abnormal vaginal bleeding causes cancer to be detected early and a consultation with the doctor should be done immediately. When other cancers originating from the uterus are considered, endometrial cancer is found to be the most common.
Causes: The exact cause of endometrial cancer is not known clearly. The cells in the endometrium tend to become abnormal due to the occurrence of a genetic mutation, which causes rapid multiplication of cells that ultimately lead to the formation of a tumour like mass. They begin to spread to other parts and proceed to affect the tissues in the surrounding areas.
The typical symptoms of endometrial cancer include:
1. Irregular bleeding in between periods
2. A watery discharge from the vagina
3. Bleeding from the vagina postmenopausal
4. Pain in the pelvic floor muscles
Risk factors that might increase the chances of being affected by endometrial cancer include:
1. Aging increases the chances of this disease, especially post-menopause.
2. Obesity can cause hormonal imbalance.
3. Certain drugs used in hormone therapy
4. Early onset of menstruation, especially before 12 years of age
Treatment for Endometrial Cancer Includes:
- Radiation therapy: This treatment procedure involves using radiations, such as X-rays to target and destroy the cancer cells. The two forms of radiation therapy are external radiation therapy (external machine is used to direct radiation on the cancer cells) and internal radiation therapy (radioactive substance enclosed within small and consumable items is placed near to or directly at the spot of cancer).
- Hormone therapy: Medications are administered to eliminate imbalances in hormone levels and prohibit the growth of cancer cells in the body. This remedy is preferred if cancer progresses to an advanced stage.
- Chemotherapy: This form of treatment uses oral administration or injection of chemicals into the veins so that the growth of cancerous cells is curbed, either by the elimination of the cells or by prohibiting cell division.
- Surgery: In this surgery, the areas affected by cancer are surgically removed; i.e. the uterus in this case. The surgical procedures that might be used include total hysterectomy (total removal of uterus), radical hysterectomy (removal of the cervix, uterus and part of the vagina) and Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes)
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