More About Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancers are among the most common forms of gynecologic cancers, with more than 35,000 women being diagnosed with this type every year. The dramatic increase in cases is closely related to the huge rise in obesity.

According to estimations, about 40 percent of the women in America will fall victim to this severe and very painful disease. In general, cancer is incurable.

However, with the various advancements and improvements in science and technology, many cancer patients have found extended periods of remission and even the complete absence of a recurring tumor. Endometrial cancer has an 85 percent survival rate.

There are several types of cancers that can develop in the endometrium, or uterus lining. The biggest concern is catching the disease in time.

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Causes of Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer usually affects older women

This kind of cancer usually starts in the inner lining of the uterus and then spreads throughout the entire reproductive system.

Women that are a decade or two past menopause are the most susceptible. That is why it is believed that a prominent cause of endometrial cancer is the hormone imbalance created in a woman when she reaches a certain age.

Research has shown that women affected with the disease have more estrogen and less progesterone. This imbalance is the prime breeding ground for cancer cells.

The abnormal cells then increase and spread beyond control throughout the whole body, if left untreated. That is why early detection is vital. Such imbalances can be caused by:

  • Obesity – Long linked to heart and lung problems, obesity is now known to promote the growth of cancerous cells. Obesity can cause hormone imbalances, which is a direct link to developing endometrial cancer. Obesity also takes quite a toll on the immune system. The immune system has special cancer fighting cells. When the system is overworked, it can not fight off the rapidly growing cancer cells in the uterus
  • Diabetes – Most diabetic women tend to suffer from severe pain in the uterus. This is a sign that cancer may be present. Diabetes – often referred to as the sugar disease – is an imbalance between sugar and insulin levels. Sugar feeds cancerous cells, therefore diabetic women, especially those that do not have the disease under control, are more likely to develop endometrial cancer, as well. Unfortunately, that is true with most diabetics. Once your body is weakened by one disease, you are much more susceptible to cancer, heart disease and many other fatal illnesses
  • High blood pressure – High blood pressure can also affect the hormones. Due to high blood pressure, a woman can face hormonal disturbances and imbalances, leading to cancer

Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

Catching any disease in its early stages can mean the difference between a cure and death. That is very true with cancer, most of all. Since vaginal bleeding is one of the most noticeable symptoms, women that have not yet entered menopause, or are not sure if they have, often do not recognize this as a symptom of cancer.

Women that have had radical periods all of their lives have trouble knowing when menopause starts, as well as if they may have endometrial cancer symptoms. Heavy bleeding one month and no bleeding for several months at a time is nothing unusual for them. This means they can have the disease and not even know, or suspect it.

On the other hand, women that have been as regular as a Swiss clock since the age of twelve notice every little change – meaning they will detect any abnormality much earlier.

But, since the disease generally starts well after menopause, any bleeding a woman experiences after that stage in life should be cause for alarm.

Peach color ribbon for endometrial cancer
  • Vaginal bleeding – post menopausal women should not have any vaginal bleeding. Bleeding from the rectum is a good indication of rectal or colon cancer. Basically, there should not be any bleeding from any part of your body. If there is, see your doctor right away
  • Vaginal discharge – vaginal discharge can mean many different things. The best way to know if it is unusual is to know yourself. Is the substance different from anything that you normally experience? Any abnormalities should be reported to your doctor as it may be an indication of cancer
  • Difficulty in urinating – pain or burning when urinating
  • Severe pain during intercourse
  • Weight loss - sudden weight loss, especially when there haven't been any drastic changes in diet or exercise

Cancer Treatments

Endometrial cancer is treated the same way as any other cancer. The patient could undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, or a combination of therapies. In some cases surgery may effectively remove the cancer, as well.

The most important thing is to catch the disease early. Regular checkups, including an annual pap smear is a good way to catch the disease before it can spread too far.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is presented as information only. It is not intended to supplement or replace professional medical advice. If you suspect that you are suffering from cancer or any other illness, then you should see a qualified doctor as soon as possible. In case of medical emergency, contact your emergency services immediately.

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