Endometrial cancer: what is it, main symptoms and treatment
Endometrial cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women older than 60 years of age, and is characterized by the presence of malignant cells on the internal wall of the uterus, which cause symptoms such as bleeding between menstruation or after of menopause, pelvic pain and weight loss.
Endometrial cancer is cured when it is identified and treated in the initial stages, and the treatment is usually carried out through surgical procedures.
Symptoms of endometrial cancer
Endometrial cancer can cause some characteristic symptoms, including the main ones:
- Bleeding between normal menstruations or after menopause;
- Abundant and frequent menstruation;
- Pelvic pain or cramping;
- White or transparent vaginal flow after menopause;
- Weight loss.
In addition, if there is metastasis, the appearance of tumor cells in other parts of the body can cause other symptoms related to the affected organ, such as bowel or bladder obstruction, coughing, difficulty breathing, jaundice and enlargement of the lymph nodes, for example.
The gynecologist must carry out the diagnosis of endometrial cancer by means of exams such as transvaginal ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, endometrial biopsy and curettage, in order to indicate the appropriate treatment.
Learn more about transvaginal ultrasound and how it is performed.
The causes of endometrial cancer are not yet established, but there are some factors that may favor its appearance, such as obesity, diet rich in animal fat, arterial hypertension, diabetes, endometrial hyperplasia, early menstruation and late menopause.
Apart from this, endometrial cancer can be favored by hormone therapy, with a greater production of estrogens and a little or no production of progesterone. Other factors that may favor endometrial cancer are polycystic ovary syndrome, absence of ovulation, genetic predisposition and family history.
How is the treatment performed?
The treatment of endometrial cancer is usually carried out through surgery, where the uterus, tubes, ovaries and lymph nodes of the pelvis are removed when necessary. In some cases, the treatment also includes additional therapies, such as chemotherapy, brachytherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy, which must be indicated by the oncologist according to the needs of each patient.
The consultation for periodical exams with the gynecologist and the control of risk factors such as diabetes and obesity is essential for this disease to be treated properly.
Is endometrial cancer curable?
Endometrial cancer is cured when it is diagnosed in the initial phase of the disease and it is properly treated according to its stage of staging, which determines the degree of spread of cancer (metastasis) and the affected organs.
In general, endometrial cancer is classified as grade 1, 2 and 3, being grade 1 the least aggressive and grade 3 the most aggressive, in which metastasis can be observed in the internal wall of the intestine, bladder and other organs.
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