What is cancer of uterus?
Cancer of the uterus is a type of Cancer that originates in the uterus and is also known as Endometrial Cancer. It develops in the region that forms the lining of the uterus (endometrium). The uterus is a hollow pelvic cavity in women wherein the development of the fetus takes place. This type of cancer results in excessive and abnormal vaginal bleeding and thus can be easily detected in the early stages.
Aside from endometrial cancer, the uterus can also develop – uterine sarcoma, however, the prevalence of this disorder is much lesser than uterine cancer. Removal of the uterus by a surgical procedure, known as Hysterectomy, is an effective treatment for the cancer, if detected early.
What are the causes & risk factors of cancer of uterus?
The genetic mutation of cells turning them from normal to abnormal cells in the uterus causes cancer of the uterus. The exact cause of the mutation is yet unascertained. Some of the factors that increase the risk of uterine cancer are enumerated below:
- Imbalance of hormones in the body (oestrogen & progesterone)
- Early onset of puberty & mensuration
- Late arrival of menopause
- No pregnancy in the lifetime
- Obesity & excessive weight gain
- Hormone therapy for breast cancer
What are the signs & symptoms of cancer of uterus?
The common symptoms of the cancer of the uterus can be enumerated as the following
- Abnormal & excessive vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal bleeding post menopause
- Pelvic pain & discomfort
How can we prevent cancer of uterus?
While complete prevention of the cancer of the uterus may not be possible, mitigating some of the risks is definitely possible. A healthy lifestyle is the first step towards possible prevention of cancer of the uterus. Additionally, a timely pregnancy also removes reduce some of the associated risk.
What are the treatment options for cancer of uterus?
A hysterectomy is the widely prescribed treatment option for endometrial cancer, which involves the surgical removal of the uterus. Alongside a hysterectomy, the doctors may also remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries, in a procedure known as the salpingo-oophorectomy. These procedures will take away the patient’s ability to bear children or have periods for the remainder of their life.Treatment options also include radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and palliative care to ensure holistic and effective care for the patient.