Endometrial cancer: Cancer of the womb (the uterus ). Endometrial cancer occurs most often in women between the ages of 55 and 70 years. It accounts for about 6% of cancer in women. Women at elevated risk for endometrial cancer include those who are obese, who have few or no children, who began menstruating at a young age, who had a late menopause, and women of high socioeconomic status. It is thought that most of these risk factors are related to hormones, especially excess estrogen.
Abnormal bleeding after menopause is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer. The diagnosis is based on the results of the pelvic examination, pap smear, biopsy of the uterus, and D & C (dilatation and curettage).
Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy . In its early stage, endometrial cancer is usually treated by surgery. The uterus and cervix are removed by hysterectomy. Radiation therapy may be done before surgery to shrink the cancer or after surgery to prevent recurrence of the cancer. A combination of external and internal radiation therapy is often used. If the cancer has spread extensively or has recurred after treatment, a female hormone (progesterone) or chemotherapy may be recommended.