Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
What is Endometrial Cancer?
Endometrial cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer or taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) can affect the risk of getting endometrial cancer. Possible signs of endometrial cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge or pelvic pain. Over 41,000 American women will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer this year.
Uterine sarcoma is related to endometrial cancer, however it affects the muscles of the uterus or other tissues that support the uterus.
Treatment Options for Endometrial Cancer
When endometrial cancer is detected early, it is usually curable. Initial treatment with surgery or radiation has been found to be equally successful; however, more women opt for surgery. Surgery is extremely successful for women whose cancer is isolated to the uterus. The procedure, a hysterectomy, involves removal of the uterus, including the cervix, with lymph node dissection to determine the extent of the disease. For women with advanced disease, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy with radiation can reduce the risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back).
Hysterectomies are often performed using robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. This translates to shorter hospital stays, speedier recovery and fewer complications than associated with traditional surgery (through the abdomen).
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