Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. Uterine cancer begins when normal cells in the uterus change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor.
Cancer of the uterus is often diagnosed early and it can be treated successfully if treated in earlier stage. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body).
Noncancerous conditions of the uterus include fibroids (benign tumors in the muscle of the uterus), endometriosis (endometrial tissue on the inside of the uterus. and endometrial hyperplasia (an increased number of cells in the uterine lining) commonly known as Endometrial Cancer.
Cancer of the uterus is often diagnosed early and it can be treated successfully if treated in early stage. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body).
Uterine cancer is treated by 1 or a combination of treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. Combinations of treatments are often recommended, but they depend on the stage and characteristics of the cancer.
Surgery is the standard treatment for endometrial cancer that has not spread. It is also an effective prevention for women at high risk of developing the disease.
Minimally Invasive surgery of the uterus is usually performed to remove the uterus and cervix (a total hysterectomy), along with both fallopian tubes and ovaries (a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). The ovaries are usually removed as they produce oestrogen, a hormone that may cause the cancer to grow. Removing them reduces the risk of the cancer coming back.
The surgery will be performed under a general anaesthetic. The type of hysterectomy depends on age, physical health, the size of uterus, the size of the tumour etc.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to kill cancer cells. A doctor who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer is called a radiation oncologist. A radiation therapy regimen (schedule) usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. Systemic chemotherapy is delivered through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is given by a medical oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication. A chemotherapy regimen (schedule) usually consists of a specific number of cycles given over a set period of time.
Hormone therapy is used to slow the growth of uterine cancer cells. Hormone therapy for uterine cancer involves the sex hormone progesterone, given in a pill form which reduces the amount of the hormone estrogen in a woman’s body by stopping tissues and organs other than the ovaries from producing it. Hormone therapy may be used for women who cannot have surgery or radiation therapy or in combination with other types of treatment.
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