Endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus or endometrium. It is one of the most common types of gynecological cancers, and it typically affects women who are over 50 years old.
The exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. These hormones control the growth and shedding of the endometrial tissue during the menstrual cycle. An imbalance in the levels of these hormones can cause the endometrial tissue to grow abnormally and develop into cancerous cells.
Symptoms of endometrial cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods or after menopause, pelvic pain or pressure, and a watery or blood-tinged discharge from the vagina. However, some women with endometrial cancer may not experience any symptoms.
Diagnosis of endometrial cancer typically involves a pelvic exam, imaging tests such as ultrasound, and a biopsy to collect a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. Treatment for endometrial cancer may include surgery to remove the uterus and other affected tissues, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
The prognosis for endometrial cancer depends on the stage at which it is diagnosed and the extent of the cancer’s spread. If caught early, endometrial cancer is often curable with a good long-term survival rate. Regular gynecological check-ups and screening tests, such as a Pap smear, can help detect endometrial cancer early, when it is most treatable.