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Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer: Introduction

Endometrial cancer is a malignant disease that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. The uterus is the pear shaped organ in a female's pelvis where pregnancy occurs and a fetus grows.

Endometrial cancer is the most common form of uterine cancer, one of the most common cancers. Most cases of endometrial cancer are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma. Normally, cells in the endometrium of the uterus that are old or damaged will stop dividing and die before they can become cancerous. These cells are normally replaced by healthy young cells. Endometrial cancer occurs when old or damaged cells to continue to divide and multiply uncontrollably.

The exact cause of the process of endometrial cancer is unknown, but it may be related to excessive exposure to the hormone estrogen. Risk factors for the development of endometrial cancer include taking estrogen replacement therapy without the use of progesterone. Other risk factors for endometrial cancer include never being pregnant, infertility, and obesity, which increases the amount of estrogen in a woman's body. Risk factors for endometrial cancer also include hypertension, diabetes, and starting menstruation before age 12 or menopause after age 50. Having a history of endometrial polyps or taking the drug tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment also increase the risk. Endometrial cancer occurs most often to women who are between the ages of 50 and 70.

Left untreated, endometrial cancer cells can continue to multiply and spread through the wall of the uterus. Endometrial cancer can also spread to nearby lymph nodes and abdominal organs and to the ovaries and fallopian tubes. If left untreated, endometrial cancer can be fatal.

Symptoms of endometrial cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding and unusual vaginal discharge. For additional symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of endometrial cancer.

Diagnosing endometrial cancer begins with taking a medical history, including a history of pregnancies, estrogen use, and symptoms, and completing a physical and pelvic examination. During the pelvic examination, the health care practitioner will assess the reproductive organs including the uterus, and the type and amount of vaginal bleeding and vaginal discharge.

A diagnosis of endometrial cancer is made by taking a biopsy, a sample of the endometrial tissue in the uterus, and examining the sample under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. An endometrial biopsy can be taken during a procedure called a hysteroscopy. In a hysteroscopy, a special flexible lighted instrument is inserted into the uterus to view the endometrium and to allow for taking of a sample of endometrial tissue.

A diagnosis of endometrial cancer may be missed or delayed because symptoms can resemble symptoms of other diseases and conditions. For information on diseases and conditions that can mimic endometrial cancer, refer to misdiagnosis of endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer is highly treatable and the prognosis for a complete cure is very good if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Treatment of endometrial cancer varies, depending on the individual case and the stage of the cancer. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and possibly chemotherapy. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of endometrial cancer. ...more »

Endometrial Cancer: Cancer of the endometrium, a common kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). The ... more about Endometrial Cancer.

Endometrial Cancer: Cancer of the endometrium (uterus lining). More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Endometrial Cancer is available below.

Endometrial Cancer: Symptoms

The primary symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. This can include any vaginal bleeding after menopause. In younger women who still menstruate, symptoms can include excessively heavy menstrual periods and/or vaginal bleeding between periods.

Other symptoms may include an unusual vaginal discharge that is watery and pink or blood-tinged. Vaginal ...more symptoms »

Endometrial Cancer: Treatments

Treatment of endometrial cancer is tailored to the individual case, and the stage (advancement) of cancer. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Treatment of endometrial cancer often includes surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy). For the treatment of endometrial cancer, this major surgical procedure ...more treatments »

Endometrial Cancer: Misdiagnosis

Endometrial cancer is a relatively easy cancer to diagnose and treat at an early stage because it grows slowly and has obvious symptoms, including heavy vaginal bleeding. However, a diagnosis of endometrial cancer may be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. These include cervical cancer, cervical polyps, sexually transmitted diseases, ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

Treatments for Endometrial Cancer

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Endometrial Cancer:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial Cancer: Related Patient Stories

Endometrial Cancer: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Endometrial Cancer.

Diagnostic Tests for Endometrial Cancer

Test for Endometrial Cancer in your own home

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Endometrial Cancer: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Endometrial Cancer:

Causes of Endometrial Cancer

Read more about causes of Endometrial Cancer.

More information about causes of Endometrial Cancer:

Disease Topics Related To Endometrial Cancer

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Endometrial Cancer:

Endometrial Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Endometrial Cancer

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Endometrial Cancer: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Endometrial Cancer

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Endometrial Cancer:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Endometrial Cancer, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Endometrial Cancer: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Latest Treatments for Endometrial Cancer

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Endometrial Cancer

Medical research articles related to Endometrial Cancer include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Endometrial Cancer: Animations

Prognosis for Endometrial Cancer

Research about Endometrial Cancer

Visit our research pages for current research about Endometrial Cancer treatments.

Clinical Trials for Endometrial Cancer

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Endometrial Cancer include:

Statistics for Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer: Broader Related Topics

Endometrial Cancer Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Endometrial Cancer, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Cancer of the endometrium, a common kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows during a woman’s pregnancy. Cancer of the endometrium is different from cancer of the muscle of the uterus (called sarcoma of the uterus). (Source: excerpt from Endometrial Cancer: NWHIC)

What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Uterus: NCI (Excerpt)

The most common type of cancer of the uterus begins in the lining (endometrium). It is called endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, or cancer of the uterus. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Uterus: NCI)

Definitions of Endometrial Cancer:

Primary or metastatic malignant neoplasm involving the endometrium (mucous membrane that lines the endometrial cavity). --2003 - (Source - Diseases Database)

Cancer of the uterine lining - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Endometrial Cancer is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Endometrial Cancer, or a subtype of Endometrial Cancer, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)


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