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
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer (whether it is in the endometrium only, involves the whole uterus, or has spread to other places in the body).
- How the cancer cells look under a microscope.
- Whether the cancer cells are affected by progesterone.
Endometrial cancer is highly curable.
After endometrial cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the uterus or to other parts of the body.
The process used to find out whether the cancer has spread within the uterus or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. Certain tests and procedures are used in the staging process. A hysterectomy (an operation in which the uterus is removed) will usually be done to help find out how far the cancer has spread.
The following procedures may be used in the staging process:
- Pelvic exam: An exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the doctor or nurse looks at the vagina and cervix for signs of disease. A Pap test of the cervix is usually done. The doctor or nurse also inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and places the other hand over the lower abdomen to feel the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. The doctor or nurse also inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or abnormal areas.
- Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
- PET scan (positron emission tomography scan): A procedure to find malignant tumor cells in the body. A small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. The PET scanner rotates around the body and makes a picture of where glucose is being used in the body. Malignant tumor cells show up brighter in the picture because they are more active and take up more glucose than normal cells do.
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