Uterine Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Signs & Treatment
Normal vaginal bleeding is the periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the woman's uterus. Normal vaginal bleeding is also called menorrhea. The process by which menorrhea occurs is called menstruation.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a flow of blood from the vagina that occurs either at the wrong time during the month or in inappropriate amounts.Read more about vaginal bleeding, a potential uterine cancer symptom»
Uterine cancer facts*
*Uterine cancer facts medical author: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
- The uterus is a hollow organ in females located in the pelvis, commonly called the womb. The uterus functions to support fetal development until birth. The uterus is shaped like an upside-down pear; the top is the fundus, the middle is the corpus, and bottom is the cervix; the inner layer of the uterus is the endometrium, and the outer layer is muscle (myometrium).
- Uterine cancer is the abnormal (malignant) growth of any cells that comprise uterine tissue. The buildup of cancer cells may form a mass (malignant tumor). Non-cancer cells that form a mass are termed benign tumors.
- Although the exact causes of uterine cancers are not known, risk factors include women with endometrial overgrowth (hyperplasia), obesity, women who have never had children, menses beginning before age 12, menopause after age 55, estrogen therapy, taking tamoxifen, radiation to the pelvis, family history of uterine cancer, and Lynch syndrome (most commonly seen as a form of inherited colorectal cancer).
- Common signs and symptoms of uterine cancer are
- Uterine cancer is diagnosed usually with a pelvic exam, Pap test, ultrasound, and biopsy. Occasionally, CT or MRI may be done to help confirm the diagnosis.
- Uterine cancer stages (0 to IV) are determined by biopsy, chest X-ray, and/or CT or MRI scans.
- Treatment options may include one or more of the following: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. Treatment depends on the uterine cancer stage, your age, and general health with uterine cancer stage IV as the most extensive and usually caused by the most aggressive type of cancer cells. You and your doctors can decide what treatment plan is best for you.
- Surgical therapy usually involves removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, adjacent lymph nodes, and part of the vagina.
- Radiation therapy may be by external radiation or by internal radiation (brachytherapy).
- Chemotherapy usually requires IV administration of drugs designed to kill cancer cells. Most chemotherapy treatments need to be done in repeated cycles of drug administration followed by a rest period.
- Hormone therapy (usually progesterone) is used on uterine cancer cells that require another hormone (estrogen) for growth.
- Second opinions can be obtained by referrals made by your doctor to others in the local medical society or to other doctors elsewhere.
- Follow-up care is important. Complications can be treated early, and possible cancer recurrence can be diagnosed early.
- Support groups are varied and many are local. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) can help locate support groups and possible clinical trials that test the newest treatments.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on11/15/2016PREV 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT
Trending on MedicineNet
ADHD in Adults
What Bit Me?
What is Crohn's Disease?
Strep Throat vs. Sore Throat
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Easing Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
Know Your Migraine Triggers
The Stages of Lung Cancer
Who's at Risk for Hepatitis C?
When is Binge Eating a Disorder?
Low-T: A Normal Part of Aging?
Schizophrenia and Mental Health
The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis
The World's No. 1 Killer
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
Choose the Right Birth Control
Living With AFib
IBD or IBS: Know the Difference?
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Put an End to Nail Fungus
Vitamin D: How Much is Enough?
Colorectal Cancer Risks
Shocking Diseases of the Mouth
Coping With IBS
Signs Your Child May Have ADHD
The Stigma of Psoriasis
Guide to Understanding Cancer
Beware of Diabetes Foot Dangers
Living With HIV AIDS
Am I Having a Heart Attack?
Breast Cancer: What Happens Next
What Cholesterol Levels Mean
Diseases of the Eye
Managing Type 1 Diabetes
Ease Psoriatic Arthritis Pain
Alzheimer's and Aging Brains