About Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer is also called as womb cancer or uterine cancer. It arises in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It is a result of abnormal growth of cells and these have the ability to spread to other parts of the body. It is the third most common cause of death in cancers which affect only women. This cancer is more common in the developed world. Endometrial cancer occurs most commonly after menopause.
The first sign most often is vaginal bleeding not associated with a menstrual period or in women who have stopped having periods (post-menopausal women). Other symptoms include pain with urination, pain during sexual intercourse and pelvic pain.
Obesity is a major risk factor, with approximately 40% cases being related to obesity. Other risk factors include excessive oestragen levels, high blood pressure diabetes, history of cancer, PCOS and Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Once endometrial cancer has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the stage of cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which doctors would be able to devise a treatment plan.
Treatments include surgery (which would depend upon stage of cancer), radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone therapy.
To know more about endometrial cancer you can refer to our Endometrial Cancer Guide
No major professional organisations currently recommend any routine screening of the general public for endometrial cancer.
Dr Umashankar Prakasam
Consultant Surgical Oncologist
Dr Sadaf Ghaem - Maghami
Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist
COMPARE PRICING FOR - Endometrial Cancer
Surgery: It is the main treatment for most endometrial cancers. How much surgery you have depends on how far your cancer has spread and on your general health. Surgery may involve either total removal of the uterus called a abdominal hysterectomy or removal of the uterus along with the Fallopian tubes and both ovaries; called as salpingo-oophorectomy. Surgery is either performed as a:
- Laparotomy: It is a open – abdomen procedure. This is a traditional surgical procedure.
- Laparoscopy: This is also called as keyhole surgery. Women with early stage womb cancer (stage 1 & 2), and some stage 3 cancers may have keyhole surgeries.
- Robotic Surgery: In a few hospitals, the surgeon may use a special machine (robot) to help with laparoscopic surgery. This is also called a robotic surgery pr da Vinci surgery.
Most women only need surgery to treat their endometrial cancer; however other treatments may be needed if the cancer is stage 3 or 4. Treatments after surgery help to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.
Chemotherapy: This is given by administrating drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA) or via intra – peritoneal (IP) injections to destroy cancer cells. This treatment can last up to many weeks.
Radiotherapy: This is performed by directing radiation beams at the targeted area, and like chemotherapy this treatment usually requires multiple sessions which are performed over a series of weeks.
Targeted Therapy: This is performed by administrating a number of drugs to the patient which will target certain components of the cancer cells.
Treatments are often used in combination with each other, particularly is the cancer is advanced and surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that could not be removed during surgery.
You may experience vomiting, nausea, hair loss, fatigue & body pain during treatment. Please do not hesitate to discuss this further with your doctor, for more information on the management of any symptoms.
- Most patients require a post – surgical recovery period of up to 4- 6 weeks. Speak to your surgeon to understand the amount of recovery you would need following your treatment.
- Appropriate rest is also important during this period.
- If there is pain and discomfort then please speak to your doctor for its management.
length of stay
Hospital Stay: 3-7 days for surgery
Total Stay: Depending upon treatment the length of stay can wary from 2 weeks to a few months