In 2012, more than 47,000 women were diagnosed with uterine cancer in the United States.
What are uterine cancers?
Uterine cancers occur in the uterus. The most common type, endometrial cancer, starts in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. Uterine cancer is a form of gynecologic cancer, or any cancer that starts in a woman's reproductive organs. Other types of gynecologic cancer include cervical, ovarian, vaginal and vulvar cancers.
Who develops uterine cancers?
Uterine cancers tend to develop later in life, affecting women between ages 50 and 70 years. Factors that increase the risk for uterine cancers include:
a gene inherited at birth that increases risk
a history of endometrial hyperplasia (a precancerous lesion)
early menstruation (before age 12) or late menopause (after age 50)
taking estrogen alone
What are the symptoms of uterine cancers?
The most common symptom of uterine cancer is postmenopausal bleeding, which means having vaginal bleeding after menopause. Postmenopausal bleeding can be of any amount, from simple spotting to heavy vaginal bleeding, and it can occur at any time after natural menopause. Regardless of the timing or amount, postmenopausal bleeding should never be considered a normal occurrence. It occurs as the presenting symptom in more than 95 percent of women.
How are uterine cancers diagnosed?
If you have postmenopausal vaginal bleeding your physician may perform an ultrasound or remove tissue (called a biopsy) to examine cells under a microscope for the presence of cancer.
How are uterine cancers treated?
Treatment options will depend on cancer stage, how far into the uterus it has grown and your individual health and may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Valley offers comprehensive uterine cancer treatment through its gynecologic oncology program. For more information, call 201-634-5401. Valley is also proud to offer the latest treatment options, including minimally invasive surgery through its Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery.