Uterine cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the uterus. Uterine cancer is most common in women who have entered menopause or are 50 years of age or older.
Uterine cancer begins when healthy cells in the uterus grow uncontrollably and form tumors or lumps. The tumor can be benign or malignant. In uterine cancer, the tumor can enlarge and spread to other organs of the body.
Uterine Cancer Types
The cancer that attacks the woman’s uterus consists of two types, namely:
Endometrial cancer is a cancer that attacks the lining of the uterine wall. This type of cancer is very common in women.
Based on the appearance of abnormal cells, endometrial cancer is divided into endometrioid cancer, uterine carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and clear cell carcinoma.
Uterine sarcoma is a cancer that begins in the muscles and supporting tissues of the uterus. This type of cancer is quite rare compared to endometrium cancer.
Uterine sarcoma is then further divided into several types, depending on the type of cancer cell first appears.
This type of uterine leiomyosarcoma attacks the myometrium (uterine muscle), endometrial stromal sarcoma attacks the stroma (supporting tissue in the endometrium), undifferentiated sarcoma attacks the muscles or stroma and develops rapidly.
Uterine Cancer Symptoms
The most common early symptoms in people with uterine cancer are abnormal bleeding through the vagi**na, which occurs outside the menstrual cycle or after menopause. However, not all bleeding after menopause is caused by uterine cancer. To be sure, a doctor’s examination is required.
Check with your doctor immediately if bleeding after menopause lasts more than two weeks, especially when accompanied by symptoms of lack of blood, such as fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath that occur repeatedly.
Uterine cancer causes risk factors
The cause is not yet known for sure, but it is multifactorial.
Risk factors that can cause the occurrence of uterine cancer, including:
Age and hormonal therapy
One of the risk factors is old age (50-65 years), accompanied by the use of replacement hormonal therapy to overcome the symptoms of menopause, then obesity and nulliparity.
Excess estrogen hormone, compared to the hormone progesterone.
The hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries, and both can affect the functioning of the endometrial wall. This imbalance between estrogen and progesterone hormones can cause endometrial wall cells to continue to grow and thicken. If left unchecked, it can trigger the growth of cancer cells. The excess estrogen hormone is common due to the use of hormone-containing drugs.
Menstrual age range.
The normal age a person begins to menstruate is 12 years and undergoes menopause at the age of about 50 years. A woman who has menstruated too early before the age of 12, and has menopause late over the age of 50, has a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. Because endometrial wall exposure to estrogen hormone increases.
The normal menstrual cycle is about 28-32 days and 1 menstrual cycle can last for 5-7 days.
Women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer than women who have been pregnant even if only once.
Family history with colon cancer.
The presence of a family history of colon cancer apparently relates to uterine cancer patients, this is usually influenced by genetic factors.
Uterine Cancer Diagnosis
Aside from the symptoms, diagnosis can be enforced through several methods of laboratory examination, hormonal, then abdominal or transva**ginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy-biopsy, and MRI.
Uterine Cancer Prevention
Prevention can be done with a healthy lifestyle, not using drugs that affect hormone and avoid radiation exposure. In addition, it is recommended to routinely conduct gynecological examinations.
Uterine Cancer Treatment
Treatment of uterine cancer is always done based on the stage of cancer and the condition of each patient. Because cancer treatment is complex, hospitals generally use multidisciplinary teams to treat uterine cancer.
In most cases of early stage uterine cancer, generally treatment includes surgery to remove part or all of the uterus, radiotherapy, or a combination of the two. While in the case of advanced uterine cancer, it is generally done radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy, although surgery is sometimes also done.
The chances of a complete cure are relatively good if uterine cancer is detected at an early stage. The earlier it is detected, the higher the rate of recovery of a person.
- Image: Nephron, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)