Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. Uterine cancer begins when normal cells in the uterus change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body).
Noncancerous conditions of the uterus include fibroids (benign tumors in the muscle of the uterus), endometriosis (endometrial tissue on the inside of the uterus. and endometrial hyperplasia (an increased number of cells in the uterine lining). This type of cancer is sometimes called endometrial cancer.
1. Pelvic Exam : Doctor checks your uterus, vagina, and nearby tissues for any lumps or changes in shape or size.
2. Physical Exam : A Thorough Medical History and Physical Examination is done.
3. Ultrasound : An Ultrasound device uses sound waves that can’t be heard by humans. The sound waves make a pattern of echoes as they bounce off organs inside the pelvis. The echoes create a picture of your uterus and nearby tissues. The picture can show a uterine tumor. For a better view of the uterus, the device may be inserted into the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound).
4. Biopsy : The removal of tissue to look for cancer cells is a biopsy. A thin tube is inserted through the vagina into your uterus. Your doctor uses gentle scraping and suction to remove samples of tissue. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. In most cases, a biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether cancer is present.
There are Two Major Types of Uterine Cancer :
• Adenocarcinoma : This type of cancer makes up more than 95% of uterine cancers. Cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops). Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
• Sarcoma : This form of uterine cancer develops in the myometrium (the uterine muscle) or in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands.
Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. Systemic chemotherapy is delivered through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is given by a medical oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication. A chemotherapy regimen (schedule) usually consists of a specific number of cycles given over a set period of time.
Radiation therapy : Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to kill cancer cells. A doctor who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer is called a radiation oncologist. A radiation therapy regimen (schedule) usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body.
Hormone therapy : Hormone therapy is used to slow the growth of uterine cancer cells. Hormone therapy for uterine cancer involves the sex hormone progesterone, given in a pill form which reduces the amount of the hormone estrogen in a woman’s body by stopping tissues and organs other than the ovaries from producing it. Hormone therapy may be used for women who cannot have surgery or radiation therapy or in combination with other types of treatment.
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