Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer. It develops from the endometrium, the lining of the uterine cavity. It is one of the most common gynecologic cancers in women. More than 52,000 new cases were reported in 2014, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The incidence of uterine cancer would be higher if it were not for the number of hysterectomies performed for non-cancerous reasons. Like the uterus itself, endometrial cancer is also sensitive to female hormones. If your uterus is intact, and hormone replacement therapy is recommended, combination HRT is essential to help prevent endometrial cancer.
Other risk factors include personal health risks like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, previous diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer; family history of endometrial cancer; and additional medical treatments, including taking tamoxifen for breast cancer or radiation treatment to the pelvis for other cancer treatment.
Endometrial cancer has a high success rate when caught early and treated. Treatment options and chance of recovery depend on several factors. Doctors need to understand the precise type of cancer, the grade and whether or not it has spread beyond the uterus in order to determine the best treatment plan.
Surgery is performed to fully evaluate the stage of endometrial cancer. Because hysterectomy is the typical treatment, staging is usually completed during a hysterectomy. The stage of the cancer describes the extent to which it has spread beyond the endometrium, if any.
- Stage I: Cancer does not spread outside the body of the uterus.
- Stage II: Cancer involves the body of the uterus and the cervix.
- Stage III: Cancer extends outside of the uterus, but is confined to the pelvis.
- Stage IV: Cancer involves the bladder or bowel or distant sites.
- Recurrent: Cancer has returned after initial treatment.
Fortunately, as of 2014, there was an 81 percent survival rate of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer and treated. For women who are diagnosed early with stage 1 have a 95 percent survival rate. Early detection and treatment by a fellowship-trained laparoscopic GYN surgeon is essential for the safest procedure with the best recovery.