Endometrial cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women. It affects the upper lining of the uterus, which is a pear shape, hollow organ in the pelvic area where the fetus grows and develops. The cancer is characterized by an abnormal uterine bleeding which helps in diagnosing the condition at its early stage. The cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, but the risk of developing it is higher among those who are obese, women who have never been pregnant, early puberty, late menopause, those who received estrogen replacement therapy without supplemental progesterone and a family history of other types of cancer.
The symptoms of endometrial cancer
The symptoms of endometrial cancer include the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Weight loss
- Pelvic pain
- A mass or swelling in the pelvic area.
- Difficult or painful urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Weakness in the lower abdomen, back, or legs.
Treatment options for endometrial cancer
The treatment options for endometrial cancer involve surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The surgery, usually a hysterectomy, is combined with a radiation therapy. This form of treatment is mostly recommended for stage 1 endometrial cancer that spreads to the lymph nodes. It is also given as a treatment process for stage 2 and 3 endometrial cancer. Chemotherapy is usually indicated for stage 3 and 4 endometrial cancer.
Endometrial Cancer and uterine bleeding management
Uterine bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer. It occurs in nine out of ten endometrial cancer patients. Uterine bleeding usually results from the imbalance of hormone estrogen relative to progesterone. When there is an increased estrogen and decreased progesterone level, shedding of the blood of the endometrium occurs resulting in uterine bleeding. It is best to monitor any abnormal bleeding that is often mistaken as an irregular or frequent menstrual cycle. Take the person immediately when severe bleeding occurs and the person suddenly feels dizzy, feel likes fainting and looks unusually pale. Other symptoms that should warrant a first aid management include the following:
- Bleeding or spotting after intercourse or douching
- Bleeding lasting longer than 7 days
- Menstrual period that occurs 21 days or sooner
- Bleeding or spotting 1 year after menopause
Should any woman observe the above symptoms or any abnormal and suspicious changes in the menstrual period, make sure to see a doctor immediately. Your symptoms might already be an indication of an early stage of endometrial cancer that can be treated upon early diagnosis.
National Cancer Institute. Endometrial Cancer. Retrieved on June 18, 2014 from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/endometrial