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
Tests that examine the endometrium are used to detect (find) and diagnose endometrial cancer.
Because endometrial cancer begins inside the uterus, it does not usually show up in the results of a Pap test. For this reason, a sample of endometrial tissue must be removed and checked under a microscope to look for cancer cells. One of the following procedures may be used:
- Endometrial biopsy: The removal of tissue from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) by inserting a thin, flexible tube through the cervix and into the uterus. The tube is used to gently scrape a small amount of tissue from the endometrium and then remove the tissue samples. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
- Dilatation and curettage: A procedure to remove samples of tissue from the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. The tissue samples are checked under a microscope for signs of disease. This procedure is also called a D&C.
Other tests and procedures used to diagnose endometrial cancer include the following:
- Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Transvaginal ultrasound exam: A procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and bladder. An ultrasound transducer (probe) is inserted into the vagina and used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. The doctor can identify tumors by looking at the sonogram.
- CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
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