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Gynaecologic Problems: Uterine Cancer

Description

Cancers that occur in each part of the uterus have their own names, such as cervical cancer or endometrial cancer, but are sometimes broadly defined as uterine cancer because the structure is part of the uterus. Cancer of the uterus spreads through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract.
Some conditions in the uterus, caused by abnormal, rapid, and uncontrolled division of cells, are not cancer. Three of these benign conditions include:

For information on the other main cancers to affect the female reproductive system go here .

Risk Factors

The following have been suggested as risk factors for uterine cancer:

Symptoms and Signs

According to the National Cancer Institute , abnormal bleeding after menopause is the most common symptom of cancer of the uterus. Other symptoms, according to the National Cancer Institute, may include:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • Difficult or painful urination.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain in the pelvic area.

Cancer of the uterus often does not occur before menopause . It usually occurs around the time menopause begins. The occasional reappearance of bleeding should not be considered simply part of menopause. It should always be checked by a physician.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When symptoms suggest uterine cancer, a detailed medical history, family and personal, as well as a thorough physical exam may be used to make a positive diagnosis.

One or more of the following may also be used:

When cancer cells are found, other tests are used to determine if the disease has spread from the uterus to other parts of the body. These procedures may include:

  • Blood tests .
  • Chest x-rays.
  • Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans of various sections of the abdomen.
  • Ultrasound to view organs inside the body.
  • Special exams of the bladder, colon, and rectum.

Methods of treatment may include:

  • Hysterectomy.
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Other.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Motherisk, The Hospital for Sick Children: http://www.motherisk.org/

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt
    (websites)


Cancer in women
    From HONselect
     (def;articles & more)   

 

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  http://www.hon.ch/Dossier/MotherChild/gynae_problems/uterine_cancer.html Last modified: Jun 25 2002