Treating Endometrial Cancer after a Diagnosis

19 August, 2020
Treating endometrial cancer is possible. This condition mainly affects postmenopausal women. and it's often the result of certain hormone replacement therapies that promote its appearance.
 

Treating endometrial cancer is possible but, firstly, let’s say it happens when there are cancer cells in the uterus that begin dividing and invading adjacent tissues.

Endometrial cancer

Cancer is a disease characterized by the appearance of abnormal cells that multiply quickly and grow uncontrollably. Thus, their high proliferation is what forms cancerous tumors.

One of the characteristics of cancer is that tumor cells divide and multiply and invade other tissues, resulting in what the medical field refers to as metastasis.

However, the scientific community chooses the names of the various types of cancer according to the organ where it originates. Thus, endometrial cancer affects the uterus.

Endometrial cancer is the most common type of cancer in the uterus and it directly affects the endometrium — the innermost lining of this organ. In addition, it usually happens after menopause and affects obese women to a greater extent.

Also, hormone replacement therapies, that contain high doses of synthetic estrogens, can promote the development of this condition.

Any success when treating endometrial cancer largely depends on the stage of the condition. As usual, the earlier you detect it, the more effective your treatment will be.

An illustration of endometrial cancer.
 

At-risk groups

There are certain risk factors related to the development of endometrial cancer:

  • Firstly, being over 50 years old – this is because it rarely occurs in women under 40 years of age who haven’t yet undergone menopause
  • In addition, excess weight is an important risk factor
  • Diabetes
  • Being sterile or having no children
  • Precocious puberty as it led to menstruating at a very young age
  • Hormonal treatments with high doses of estrogens or progesterone
  • Tamoxifen is a widely used chemotherapy drug for breast cancer, and it’s a proven risk factor for this condition

However, take into account that although these factors occur more frequently in women with endometrial cancer, these aren’t present in some cases.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of this type of cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding and might take place between periods or after menopause.

Postmenopausal women who experience vaginal bleeding must consult a gynecologist. This is because it could be an early symptom of the disease.

It’s crucial to pay attention to these types of symptoms as they can aid in the early prevention of this disease and determine the success of any given treatment.

Treating endometrial cancer

There are various treatments for women with endometrial cancer. Therefore, doctors will evaluate the options depending on the stage of the disease. Additionally, the scientific community continues to work on the research and implementation of newer and more efficient treatment options.

 
An illustration of the female reproductive system.

Among them:

  • Surgery. A woman with endometrial cancer can opt for a hysterectomy from among the possible surgeries. It consists of the removal of the uterus and any other organs nearby that might require it. This is only an option for cases in which the cancer is widespread. Other less aggressive options involve removing the cancerous tissue only. Thus, a surgeon might remove the ovaries, cervix, or uterus, for example.
  • Radiotherapy. This type of treatment uses high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells.
    • For external radiation therapy, a machine emits the radiation outside the body.
    • In contrast, internal radiation therapy consists of placing an instrument inside the affected area and emitting the radiation directly on the cancerous tissue.
  • Chemotherapy. There’s a wide variety of drugs used in chemotherapy in order to destroy and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
    • Doctors often prescribe systemic chemotherapy, either orally or injected. This kind of treatment reaches the entire body.
    • There’s also local chemotherapy, and doctors apply it directly into a body cavity.

Thanks for reading.