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. Over 41,000 American women will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer this year.
Possible signs of endometrial cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge or pelvic pain.
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.
Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic 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.
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).
This da Vinci® robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery can also be used to help determine the stage of the cancer.
Not all patients are appropriate candidates for minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. It is generally best suited for women under the age of 70, who have not had prior pelvic radiation or surgery.
Advanced Endometrial Disease Treatment
For women with advanced disease, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy with radiation can reduce the risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back).
Topics in This Section
Women's Cancer Center
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