Uterine cancers are among on of the most common cancers in the female population and the incidence is even in western countries. These cancers arise from the inner lining of the endometrial lining of the uterus. These cancers are contributed through multiple reasons in woman journey for adolescence to menopause. Though these are most common in post menopausal age group.
Common risk factors and causes of uterine cancers
- Early menarche and late menopause
- Women bearing no pregnancy
- Hormonal replacement therapy ( oral contraceptive pills)
- Hormonal drugs such as Tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancers
- Familial history of uterine cancers
- Genetic factors related to uterine cancers
Common symptoms associated with uterine cancers
- Abnormal bleeding per vagina
- Irregular menses
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Mennorhagia( heavy periods)
- Symptoms associated with spread to surrounding organs, bones, lungs and liver
Diagnosis and investigations
These symptoms could be alarming in post menopausal females and should be seriously considered for examination with ur gynaecologist/ clinician. After complete evaluation patients are advised to undergo certain blood investigations, uterine biopsy ( Dilation & curettage for endometrial biopsy )/ hysteroscopy biopsies.
Once the biopsy is suggestive of malignancy, patients are further advised to undergo Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvis to evaluate the site, size and extent of the lesion. It also determines location spread. Contrast enhanced computerised tomography (CECT abdomain) for extension of the disease in the abdomain or positron emission tomography (PET) scan be used to in suspicion of spread to the major organs of the body.
Treatment of uterine cancers
After the determination of the cancer of the stage, cancer specialists and surgeons plan a treatment protocol in best interest of the patients. Surgery remains the mainstay of the treatment where uterus along with tubes and ovaries are removed( Radical hysterectomy).
The extent of the surgery also depends upon the disease. In extensive cases, cytoreduction surgery with Lateral pelvic lymph nodes removal will be required to remove all the cancer tissue. These surgeries can be performed by minimal access approach ( laparoscopic/ robotic surgery) or conventional open surgery.
Radiation therapy plays important role in uterine cancers. Before surgery it can be use to downsize the tumours and kill the cancer cells and after surgery used to kill the residual cancers cells. Chemotherapy is generally advised to control the cancer cells spread in the body depending upon stage of disease.
Recovery after surgery
The hospital stay after the surgery is usually 2-7 days depending upon the extent of surgery and recovery of the patients. Patients need to regular follow up with there surgeon or gynaecologist for check up and medications.
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