- Institute of Oncological Sciences
- Uterus Cancer
What is Uterus cancer ?
The abnormal cell growth in the uterus forms a mass called tumor. These tumors can be benign or non-benign. These cells grow rapidly either in the lining of the uterus which is endometrium or in the muscle tissue of the uterus which is called myometrium. It is the most common cancer in women apart from ovarian cancer in the reproductive system.
What is Uterus ?
The uterus forms a part of reproductive system, which is an empty space in the pelvis area. The uterus has three parts.
- The top part of your uterus is dome shaped which goes down as fallopian tubes that further extends as ovaries.
- The corpus is the middle part of the uterus which holds the baby as it grows.
- At the end of the narrow passage in the uterus you find the cervix which extends further in to vagina. The uterus has two layers
Most of the uterus is covered by the muscle tissue which forms the
Endometrium : As you change from a girl to a young woman your endometrium layer outer layer. which is the inner lining of the uterus changes in thickness making the uterus capable enough to hold the baby.
Types of Uterine cancer :
Uterine cancer is of two types
Adenocarcinoma : The endometrial cells grow rapidly causing cancer. It’s the most common cancer of the reproductive system
Sarcoma: Around 2%to 5% of women suffer from Sarcoma. The abnormal cell growth happens in the muscle tissue of the uterus which is the endometrium causing cancer.
These symptoms appear to be common for various other diseases which make it confusing for one to understand what’s happening. Only the diagnosis and the professionals can say it better. Yet, the symptoms should not be ignored whether it is for cancer or otherwise.
The symptoms of endometrial cancer are profuse bleeding from your vagina before or after the menopause. Let’s take a look at the symptoms that causes uterine cancer-
- Bleeding in the vagina
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the pelvis
- Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) for women who are getting into a phase of menopause.
- Pain while urinating
If you are having any of the above symptoms its time you take an appointment with the doctor and discuss the issues.
Causes and Risk Factors :
The reason for the cause of the cancer is still not known but these factors contribute to cancer.
- Age being one of the factors specially with women above 50
- Post menopause
- Being infertile could also be one of the causes
- Being diabetic
- When the endometrium gets thicker causes a condition called endometrial hyperplasia
- Being obese
- A family history of having bowel, uterine or ovarian cancer
- People who go for hormone replacement therapy which involves taking estrogen in place of progesterone
- Patients who have undergone radiation in the pelvis area
- When you have been treated earlier for breast cancer and while you were on medication with tamoxifen
Preparing for your appointment :
When the symptoms are predominant you are referred to a doctor who is a gaenocologic oncologistvwho has additional training on treating cancers of the reproductive system. A prior preparationvabout the appointment is what is good for you as you will have very little time to discuss about your issues. Here’s what you can do
- Make a note of your symptoms
- Recollect any medical history or any complications you have had earlier
- Make a note of your doubts and queries.
These questions that you have made a note of when discussed with your doctor will help you understand your issues and therefore prepare for it. In case you are having more questions during the appointment do not hesitate to ask your doctor.
Tests and Diagnosis :
Metastasis is the most common tests conducted on cancer patients. It detects the extent of the disease thereby revealing us as to how far the disease has progresses into other parts of the body. Biopsy is yet another effective test for the diagnosis of cancer. These tests will help the doctor in planning a treatment procedure for you. Imaging tests are also considered to diagnose cancer on certain grounds such as previous test results, age and medical condition of the patient, type of the cancer diagnosed and the signs and symptoms thereby.
Pelvic Examination : The uterus, vagina, ovaries and the rectum of the pelvis area are examined to see any unusual changes. A pap test which is often done along with pelvic examination helps in the diagnosis of cervical cancers.
Transvaginal ultrasound : An ultrasound inserted into the vagina and is focused on the uterus which further takes pictures of the internal organs with the help of ultrasound waves.
Computed Tomography : It uses x-rays and with the help of a special dye (contrast medium) the three dimensional pictures appear brighter and sharper enabling to detect the size of the tumor.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) : It uses magnetic fields to click pictures. This is used to measure the size of the tumor.
The below are the surgical tests for the diagnosis of cancer:
Endometrial Biopsy : Biopsy is the most effective test to determine uterine cancer. Here a small tissue from the uterus is removed and examined under a microscope. It can give accurate results.
Dilation and Curetage (D & C) : It is conducted along with hysteroscopy which again involves removal of tissue samples from the uterus and will be examined under a microscope. Depending upon the test results and its confirmation of the uterine cancer and the stage the treatment is adviced.
Surgeries are the most effective way to treat the endometrial cancers. They are-
Total hysterectomy: The procedure can be done in different ways. They are-
- Vaginal Hysterectomy- the uterus and the cervix are taken out through vagina
- Total abdominal hysterectomy – the uterus and the cervix are tken out through a large incision in the abdomen through a major surgery
- Laparascopic Hysterectomy – The cervix and the uterus is removed through a small incision in the abdomen.
- Bilateral salpingi ( oophorectomy)- It’s a surgery where conducted when both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries have to be removed.
- Radical hysterectomy: This surgery is used when uterus, ovaries or a part of vagina, fallopian tubes or nearby lymph nodes have to be removed.
Despite having removed the tumors there are chances that some parts of it would have remained. In such cases radiation therapy or hormone therapy is administered on the patient to clear any more cancerous cells. The treatment given after the surgery is called as adjuvant therapy.
Radiation therapy : It uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. There are to wkinds of radiation therapy
- External Radiation therapy: it uses rays outside the body and sends radiation towards the cancer affected area.
- Internal Radiation therapy: It uses needles, wires, seeds, catheters within which the radioactive substances prevail and then they are placed directly into the area affected. It is also used based on certain criteria such as the type and the stage of the cancer.
Chemotherapy : It is a treatment where the drugs are given to kill the cancer cells and prevent them from growing further.
Hormone Therapy : Hormones are substances produced in the body which is absorbed and circulated in the blood stream. This therapy removes or blocks the hormones from and stops the cancer cells from growing.
Biological Therapy : It uses the immune system to fight cancer which is called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
Support : The disease weakens you even more if you are anxious. You are not the only one who is going through the disease. There are people who have fought the disease and regained their health. These people participate and discuss how you can go about with the disease. It gives you immense strength and courage to fight and understand the disease. The friends, family support communities groups and counsellors can be very resourceful too.
Prevention : There are certain factors that can lower the risk of cancer.
- Regular monitoring of blood sugar
- Maintain weight as per your body mass index
- Birth control pills for a long time
- Hormone replacement therapy could be threatening. Consider the risk and consult your doctor before going for this therapy.
Why Choose KIMS ?
KIMS Hospital, Hyderabad offers extensive and best uterus cancer treatment in India. The best surgical gynecologists and oncologists in Hyderabad work relentlessly for the treatment of uterine cancer. It is considered as one of the best uterus cancer hospital or centers in Hyderabad and India. Best robotic cancer surgery for treatment uterus cancers is done at KIMS hospital, Hyderabad.