Uterine Cancer: Symptoms, Stages and Treatments

Photo of nurse and patientWith uterine cancer there are episodes of watery and bloody discharge. Ruling out vaginal yeast infecKnown as endometrial cancer, uterine cancer can form out of fibroid tumors. Usually benign and associated with no painful symptoms, these tumors can become growths large enough to wedge themselves against other internal organs and cause intermittent bleeding. Though they rarely invade surrounding organs and tissues, they can become abnormal cells.

The wall of the uterus is the myometrium and is supported by an infrastructure of connective tissues known as the endometrial stroma. This area contains the glandular epithelium which is sensitive to any hormonal variations of the menstrual cycle. As the estrogen hormones fluctuate the stimulation of these hormones affect the epithelial lining inside of the uterus.

There are three distinctive endometrial hyperplasia cells:

  • Atypical Hyperplasia (Precancerous)
  • Cystic Hyperplasia (Malignant)
  • Adenomatous Hyperplasia (Precancerous)

These tumors can turn malignant due to uterus replacement therapy, therefore monitoring of the endometrial region is essential for preventive measures. Atypical tumors can result in the removal of the uterus and adenomatous tumors are present in 25% of women, especially pre-menstrual to full menopausal stages.

Uterine cancer prevention can be as simple as maintaining a healthy weight, getting tested periodically for diabetes or keeping diabetes in control, and monitoring hypertension. This is especially important for women who have entered early stages of their menopause.

Women, who are of menopausal ages and beyond, between 50 and up 70 years, should have regular pap smear tests. Symptoms of uterine cancer are as following: - Bleeding not related to postmenopausal or menstruation cycles - Vaginal discharge (white or clear) after the menopause stage - Pelvic pain - Painful intercourse - Unusual or heavier menstrual cycles (after the age of 40) - Pain upon urination or difficulty emptying the bladder

As for treatments, the use of estrogen therapy with progesterone can be a risk factor. Treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy. The supportive therapies include pain management, nutritional therapy, naturopathic medicine, mind and body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, spiritual and survivorship support.

Preventive measures are weight and nutrition monitoring, diabetes monitoring and yearly gynecologist visits. Surgical hysterectomies are also common preventive measures with women who have a family history of benign tumors, endometrial tumors, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. Post menstrual and premenstrual women should seek private counsel with a family physician about the symptoms, stages, and treatments of uterine cancer.