Endometrial cancer is a type of uterine cancer that starts in the inner lining of the uterus. This lining is called the endometrium. Most Cases occur in women after the age of 55.
The uterus is the hollow, pear shaped pelvic organ where fetal development occurs. Endometrial cancer begins in the layer of cells thatfrom the lining of the uterus.
Endometrial cancer is sometimes called uterine cancer. Other types of cancer can form in the uterus, including uterine sarcoma, but they are much less common than endometrial cancer.
This type of cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleading.
The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. This symptom includes-
• Changes in the length or heaviness of menstrual periods
• Vaginal bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
• Vaginal bleeding after menopause
• Watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge
• Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
• Pain during sex
These symptoms aren’t necessarily a sign of serious condition, but it’s important to get them checked out.
Doctors don’t know what causes endometrial cancer. What’s known is that something occurs to create changes (mutations) in the DNA of cells in the endometrium — the lining of the uterus.
The mutation turns normal, healthy cells into abnormal cells. Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time. Abnormal cells grow and multiply out of control, and they don’t die at a set time. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can separate from an initial tumor to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasize).
Risk Factors –
Endometrial cancer usually happens in women past menopause. More than 95% of endometrial cancer happens in women over 40. Postmenopausal women have a high risk for endometrial cancer if they:
• Got their first period early
• Went through menopause late
• Are obese
• Have diabetes or high blood pressure
• Have few or no children
• Have a history of infertility, irregular periods, or abnormal cells in the endometrium (called endometrial hyperplasia)
• Have a family history of endometrial, colorectal, or breast cancer
• Women who take estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy have a higher risk of developing endometrial cancer. So women who have not had a hysterectomy should not be taking estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy.
• Women taking the drug tamoxifen to treat or prevent breast cancer have a slightly higher risk of endometrial cancer.
• High-fat diets, especially containing red meat, can increase the risk of cancer, including endometrial and colon cancer.
Over time, endometrial cancer can potentially spread from the uterus to other parts of the body.
The cancer is classified into four stages based on how much it has grown or spread:
• Stage 1: The cancer is only present in the uterus.
• Stage 2: The cancer is present in the uterus and cervix.
• Stage 3: The cancer has spread outside the uterus, but not as far as the rectum or bladder. It might be present in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and/or nearby lymph nodes.
• Stage 4: The cancer has spread beyond the pelvic area. It might be present in the bladder, rectum, and/or distant tissues and organs.
When a person is diagnosed with endometrial cancer, the stage of the cancer affects what treatment options are available and the long-term
outlook. Endometrial cancer is easier to treat in the early stages of the condition.
• The only potential complication of endometrial cancer symptoms is anemia, a low red blood cell count. Thankfully, it’s easily reversed through a diet that’s rich in vitamins and/or taking iron supplements, as well as by treating your endometrial cancer, which will stop the bleeding altogether.
• One postoperative complication that may be somewhat more common is thromboembolism because this is increased in patients who have cancer, are obese, and are older. In current practice, most physicians use some type of prophylaxis, either external pneumatic compression, low-dose heparin or a combination of the two.
Your provider may perform one or more tests to confirm a diagnosis of uterine cancer:
• CA-125 assay is a blood draw that measures CA-125, a protein. A certain amount of CA-125 can point to cancer in the body.
• CT scans take a series of detailed pictures of the inside of the body.
• MRI scans use radio waves and a powerful magnet to create images.
• Transvaginal ultrasound inserts a special probe (smooth, rounded device) into the vagina to get pictures of the uterus.
• Endometrial biopsy inserts a thin, flexible tube through the cervix (opening of the vagina) and into the uterus. The provider removes a small amount of the endometrium.
• Hysteroscopy inserts a hysteroscope, a long thin tube, through the vagina and cervix to reach the uterus. This narrow instrument with a light and camera provides detailed images of the uterus.
• Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a more complex procedure to remove uterine tissue. It takes place in the operating room.
Most people with endometrial cancer need surgery. Your particular treatment plan depends on the type of cancer and your overall health. Other treatments you may have include:
• Chemotherapy, which uses powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells.
• Radiation therapy, which sends targeted radiation beams to destroy cancer cells.
• Hormone therapy, which gives hormones or blocks them to treat cancer.
• Immunotherapy, which helps your immune system fight cancer.
•Targeted therapy, which uses medications to target specific cancer cells to stop them from multiplying.
Surgery is usually the main treatment for endometrial cancer. You’ll most likely have a hysterectomy, with the surgeon removing the uterus and cervix. There are three types of hysterectomy procedures:
• Total abdominal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes an incision (cut) in the abdomen to access and remove the uterus.
• Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the uterus through the vagina.
• Radical hysterectomy: If the cancer has spread to the cervix, you may need a radical hysterectomy. The surgeon removes the uterus and the tissues next to the uterus. The surgeon also removes the top part of the vagina, next to the cervix.
During a hysterectomy, surgeons often perform two other procedures as well:
• Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Most people need this extra step to make sure all cancer gets removed.
• Lymph node dissection to remove lymph nodes and see if the cancer has spread.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
In Ayurveda endometrial cancer of uterus can be correlated with Yonivyapada. The symptoms of Yonivyapada is Artava Atipravrutti (excessive bleeding), Akala Artava Dashana (irregular menstruation), Chosha evum Daha.
• Wheat Grass
• Kanchnar Guggulu
• Chandraprabha Vati
• Vriddhivadhika Vati
• Heerak Bhasm
• Vasantkusumakar Ras
• Punarnava Mandur
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