Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States. The Uterus is a very important organ, which is responsible for carrying a pregnancy to term. The uterus is comprised of 2 major layers, an inner lining called the endometrium and an outer muscle layer called the myometrium.
Endometrial cancer arises from the inner lining of the uterus. There are two types of endometrial cancer.
- Type 1 is the most common accounting for 90% of cases and has the best prognosis. Histopathologically, Type 1 cancers are referred to as endometrioid adenocarcinoma.
- Type 2 cancers tend to be more aggressive and behave more like their ovarian cancer counterparts. Histopathologically, Type 2 cancers include serous carcinoma and clear cell carcinoma.
Uterine cancer can also arise from the muscle layer of the uterus, and these types of cancers are referred to as uterine sarcoma. Uterine sarcomas are more rare and account for the other 10% of uterine cancers. In the United States, approximately 40,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed every year.
Our lead doctor is currently performing 100% of the uterine cancer surgeries via the Da vinci robotic platform.
Endometrial cancer is most commonly seen in post menopausal women, although rare cases are seen in pre menopausal women. Typical presenting signs and symptoms include, bleeding, spotting, vaginal discharge. Some of the other symptoms include:
- Bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation (periods).
- Difficult or painful urination.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain in the pelvic area.
If you or a friend are experiencing any of these symptoms it is very important to seek the care of a gynecologist or a gynecologic oncologist.
DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR UTERINE CANCER
Because endometrial cancer begins inside the uterus, it does not usually show up in the results of a Pap test. For this reason, a sample of endometrial tissue must be removed and examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells. One of the following procedures may be used:
- Endometrial biopsy: This procedure is done in the office with minimal discomfort. Tissue is removed from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) by inserting a thin and flexible tube through the cervix and into the uterus. The tube is used to gently scrape a small amount of tissue from the endometrium and then remove the tissue samples. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
- Dilatation and curettage: This procedure is done in an outpatient surgical unit. IT is more accurate and diagnostic and is considered the “gold standard”. The cervix is dilated and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Tissue samples may be taken and checked under a microscope for signs of disease. This procedure is also called a D&C.
RISK FACTORS FOR UTERINE CANCER
There are very well known risk factors that increase ones risk of uterine cancer. All of which have one thing in common, EXCESS EXPOSURE TO ESTROGEN. These risk factors include:
- Unopposed Estrogen replacement therapy
- History of precancerous lesions of the uterus (complex endometrial hyperplasia with atypia)
- Tamoxifen use
The primary treatment for cancer of the uterus is to remove the cancerous organ. This involved performing a hysterectomy. Your doctor will offer you the latest minimally invasive technology to perform your hysterectomy. This involved utilizing the Da vinci robotic platform to complete the surgery via 3 or 4 small 5 to 8 mm incisions. This is superior to open surgery due to the following reasons:
- Faster recovery (1 to 2 weeks as opposed to 6 to 8 weeks with open surgery via an incision)
- Significantly less pain (most patients go home on motrin the first day after surgery)
- Better visualization of the pelvic cavity (the Da vinci system’s 3 dimensional High Definition camera system is significantly better than our own eye)
- More accurate surgery and less tissue damage to normal surrounding tissue
- Better cosmesis and scarring
Our lead doctor is currently performing 100% of his uterine cancer surgeries via the Da vinci robotic platform. Rest assured that Your doctor and our staff will offer you the best treatment options for your particular case.