Stage I

Dealing with Stage I Uterine Cancer

When a person is diagnosed with uterine cancer, further tests are conducted to determine the extent of the disease. Doctors measure the progression of cancer in stages. Stage I is one of the earliest and easiest to treat. As for stage IV, it is the most advanced form of cancer. The doctor cannot form a treatment plan until he or she knows what stage of cancer the patient has. Since cancer gets worse with each stage, it is important for patients to receive treatment as soon as possible.

Stage I indicates the beginning of uterine cancer. When people are in stage I, the cancer cells are only present in their uterus. Cancer cells do not spread until later stages of the disease. During stage I, the tumor usually grows through the inner lining of the uterus. In some cases, the tumor can also attack the myometrium.

Doctors often divide stage I into three parts; these parts are known as IA, IB and IC. During stage IA, the cancer is confined to the endometrium. The endometrium is the inner layer of cells in the uterus. A patient is in stage IB when the cancer only invades half of the muscle wall in the uterus. Stage IC is not diagnosed until the cancer invades more than half of the patient's muscle wall.

An abdominal hysterectomy is the most common form of treatment for those who have stage I uterine cancer. During the abdominal hysterectomy, surgeons remove the uterus. In most cases, surgeons also perform a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Although cancer can return, these procedures usually stop it from coming back. Since cancer can spread rapidly, patients must seek treatment immediately. Out of all the stages of cancer, stage I is the easiest to treat.

Most cancer patients are not diagnosed until they are in the later stages of the disease. For that reason, women should be aware of the signs and symptoms of endometrium cancer. Knowing when to go to the doctor is the best way to prevent the cancer from spreading. Once the cancer advances from stage I, it is more difficult to treat. Some of the most common symptoms include irregular vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse, painful urination and pelvic discomfort. There are certain risk factors that can increase a woman's chance of getting cancer. If a woman is obese, has diabetes or high blood pressure, she is at a higher risk for developing cancer.