Uterine Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Uterine cancer facts*
- What is endometrial cancer?
- What are risk factors for endometrial cancer?
- What are signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer?
- What tests and procedures diagnose endometrial cancer?
- What factors affect prognosis and treatment options for uterine cancer?
- How is uterine cancer staging determined?
- How does cancer spread in the body?
- Cancer may spread from where it began to other parts of the body.
- What are the stages of endometrial cancer?
- What is recurrent endometrial cancer?
- What are treatment options for endometrial cancer?
- What are new types of treatment being tested in uterine cancer clinical trials?
- What are clinical trials?
- Patients can enter clinical trials before, during, or after starting their cancer treatment.
- What follow-up tests may be needed after treatment of endometrial cancer?
- What are uterine cancer treatment options by stage?
- What are treatment options for recurrent endometrial cancer?
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Endometrial cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the endometrium.
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus, a hollow, muscular organ in a woman's pelvis. The uterus is where a fetus grows. In most nonpregnant women, the uterus is about 3 inches long. The lower, narrow end of the uterus is the cervix, which leads to the vagina.
Cancer of the endometrium is different from cancer of the muscle of the uterus, which is called sarcoma of the uterus.
Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus may increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn't mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for endometrial cancer include the following:
Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer or taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Endometrial cancer may develop in breast cancer patients who have been treated with tamoxifen. A patient taking this drug should have a pelvic exam every year and report any vaginal bleeding (other than menstrual bleeding) as soon as possible. Women taking estrogen (a hormone that can affect the growth of some cancers) alone have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Taking estrogen combined with progesterone (another hormone) does not increase a woman's risk of this cancer.
Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer include unusual vaginal discharge or pain in the pelvis.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by endometrial cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation (periods).
- Difficult or painful urination.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain in the pelvic area.
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