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Encyclopedia > Uterine cancer
Uterine Cancer Tumor
Uterine Cancer Tumor

All cancer begins in cells, cells make up tissues, and tissues make up all organs of the body. Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. The uterus is the female reproductive organ in which a baby grows if a woman becomes pregnant. The uterus consists of three main parts, the cervix is the lower portion of the uterus, the broad middle part is the corpus or body, and the dome-shaped top of the uterus is the fundus. When a woman develops uterine cancer, a tumor is formed on her uterus of abnormal or old cells and can either be benign or malignant. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Endometrial cancer involves cancerous growth of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). ... Image File history File links UterineCancerTumor. ... Image File history File links UterineCancerTumor. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ... A cell is a single unit or compartment, enclosed by a border or wall. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ... An organ is the following: In anatomy, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ... A reproductive system is the ensembles and interactions of organs and/or substances within an organism that strictly pertain to reproduction. ... The uterus or womb is the major female reproductive organ of most mammals, including humans. ... Tumor (American English) or tumour (British English) originally means swelling, and is sometimes still used with that meaning. ... Benign can refer to any medical condition which, untreated or with symptomatic therapy, will not become life-threatening. ... In medicine, malignant is a clinical term that is used to describe a clinical course that progresses rapidly to death. ...



There are two different types of uterine cancer; the most common form begins in the lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium. This form of uterine cancer can also be called endometrial cancer, or cancer of the uterus. The other, less common form of uterine cancer, is uterine sarcoma, and this is when the cancer develops in the outer layer of muscle tissue, myometrium, of the uterus. The endometrium is the inner uterine membrane in mammals which is developed in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg upon its arrival into the uterus. ... Endometrial cancer involves cancerous growth of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). ... A uterine sarcoma is a malignant tumor that arises from the smooth muscle or connective tissue of the uterus. ... The myometrium is the middle layer of the uterine wall consisting of smooth muscle cells and supporting stromal and vascular tissue. ...

Risk Factors

The ovaries in a woman’s reproductive system produce estrogen and progesterone. The balances of these two hormones changes monthly making the endometrium thicken in case of pregnancy or shed if no pregnancy occurs. When these hormones shift towards more estrogen, stimulating the growth of the endometrium, the risk for uterine cancer increases. Uterine cancer has several internal causes usually due to the presence of extra estrogen. Estriol. ... Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. ...

Women who experience more years of menstruation are at a higher risk of uterine cancer. If menstruation begins before the age of 12 years old and continues into a woman’s 50’s the risk is higher, because the more years of menstruation a woman experiences the more years the endometrium is exposed to estrogen. The menstrual cycle is the periodic change in a womans body that occurs every month between puberty and menopause and that relates to reproduction. ...

Women who have never experienced pregnancy are at a higher risk, because the body produces more progesterone during pregnancy protecting the endometrium by lowering estrogen levels. Women who have never been pregnant do not receive the benefit of this protection.

Women who do not experience regular cycles are at an increased risk of uterine cancer. Ovulation is regulated by estrogen. Irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate increases a woman’s lifetime exposure to estrogen. Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ...

Women with Type 2 diabetes or women who are obese are at more risk. These two factors generally go hand in hand, because many people with Type 2 diabetes are obese. Although alone they are each risk factors, obese women with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk, because fat tissues sometimes change hormones into estrogen resulting in an increased level of estrogen. Fatty foods can also directly affect estrogen metabolism increasing risk. See diabetes mellitus for further general information on diabetes. ... Obesity is an excess storage of fat and can affect any mammal, such as the mouse on the left. ...

Women who participate in Estrogen-only Replacement Therapy (ERT) (a form of Hormone Replacement Therapy) are at a higher risk because ERT stimulates the growth of the endometrium, placing estrogen alone after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a system of medical treatment for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, based on the assumption that it may prevent discomfort and health problems caused by diminished circulating estrogen hormones. ...

Uterine cancer is more prevalent in older women, because it takes several years to develop. 95% of women with uterine cancer are over the age of 40. White women are more likely to develop uterine cancer, but African American women are more like to die from it.


There are no useful screening tests and/or pelvic exams that detect uterine cancer. The disease is most often diagnosed because a woman shows symptoms of the disease. Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer include abnormal bleeding, spotting, or other discharges from the vagina. Women who have gone through menopause are especially encouraged to consult a physician if abnormal bleeding, spotting, or discharges occur. Menopause is the physiological cessation of menstrual cycles associated with advancing age in species that experience such cycles. ...


Approximately 90% of women diagnosed with uterine cancer have unusual vaginal bleeding or bleeding after menopause. Most cases of uterine cancer develop in women who have gone through menopause and whose periods have stopped. However, there is a small percentage of cases of women under the age of forty with uterine cancer. Although irregular bleeding may show up in other illnesses such as hyperplasia or other non-cancerous conditions, contact a physician if any irregular bleeding may occur. At first, the bleeding may appear watery, but over time the discharge may contain more and more blood. Hyperplasia (or hypergenesis) is a general term for an increase in the number of the cells of an organ or tissue causing it to increase in size. ...

Vaginal discharge which doesn’t contain blood may also be a sign of uterine cancer. Just because a woman can’t see the blood in the discharge itself, does not mean that the cancer is not present. In approximately 10% of diagnosed cases, the non-bloody discharge experienced by the patients proved to be cancerous. In any case, any abnormal vaginal discharge should result in the consulting of a physician. Sometimes, uterine cancers may progress into advanced stages before any signs or symptoms are shown.

Additional signs of uterine cancer include pelvic pain and/or weight loss. Although these symptoms do occur, they are usually develop in the later stages of the disease. Medical help should be sought after immediately so that the disease is not allowed to progress any further. The delaying of medical help only decreases the chance of treating the disease successfully.

If a woman has any of the aforementioned symptoms then she is encouraged to see a physician who can then come to a decision as to whether or not cancer is present. The physician will ask for a list of symptoms and her medical family history. If the cancer is there, a woman should then be instructed to visit a gynecologist. Early diagnosis is very important when it comes to cancer of the uterus. The shamefulness associated with the examination of female genitalia has long inhibited the science of gynaecology. ...


There are many different treatments for cancer. Uterine cancer, however, is treated most commonly with a smaller sampling of the possible treatments available for cancer patients. After a diagnosis is received, patients usually begin one or two different forms of therapy. The variety, aggressiveness, and overall length of time in treatment depends entirely on the stage and severity of the cancer and the patient (age, health, plans for the future, etc.). The most common treatments for uterine cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. Surgery involves having a hysterectomy. Having a simple hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus) or radical hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, surrounding tissues, and cervix) depends on the case. The option of radiation therapy involves using high-energy radiation to destroy the cancer cells. The procedure is done outside of the body and is not unlike having an X-ray for a broken limb. Chemotherapy involves taking a series of drugs (either by mouth or through a vein) to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is most often used when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Hormone therapy is mainly used to treat patients with endometrial stromal sarcomas (A rare sarcoma in which the lesions form multiple foci in the myometrium and in vascular spaces in other sites and the tissue and cells resemble endometrial stroma cells). A progesterone-like hormone drug or a drug which stops the production of estrogen can be used. Hormone therapy, however, is not often used and is still being tested. A cardiothoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve replacement at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. ... A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist. ... Clinac 2100 C100 accelerator Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ... Radiation in physics is the process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. ... Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to treat disease. ... In medicine, hormone therapy is the use of hormones in medical treatment and covers various types of hormones including growth hormones and sex hormones. ...


Graph showing incidence of uterine cancer among women over 50 in the U.S.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 41,200 women will be diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2006, and of those 7,350 will die. About 70% of all women diagnosed are between the ages of 45-74. A woman’s chance of developing this cancer through out her life time is about 1 in 38. 500,000 women have been diagnosed and survived this cancer. This cancer is 40% more prominently found in white women, however an African American women who is diagnosed with uterine cancer is twice as likely to die. Doctors say that on average the five-year survival rate is at 84%, and this percentage increases if the cancer is detected in early stages.


Generally, uterine cancer is a result of internal factors that cannot be prevented, however, a couple factors may help lower the risk of developing uterine cancer such as: taking hormone therapy with progestin, a history of using birth control pills to regulate cycles, and maintaining a healthy weight.


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  Results from FactBites:
Uterine cancer - definition of Uterine cancer in Encyclopedia (798 words)
Although the exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, increased levels of estrogen appear to have a role.
The incidence of endometrial cancer in women in the U.S. is 1 percent to 2 percent.
Patients with newly-diagnosed endometrial cancer do not routinely undergo imaging studies, such as CT scans to evaluate for extent of disease, since this is of low yield.
Uterine cancer (533 words)
Cancer of the uterus is also known as cancer of the womb, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer and cancer of the lining of the womb.
Most cases of cancer of the uterus are cancers of the uterus lining (endometrium), though some cancers grow in the muscle layers of the uterus.
Cancer of the uterus (womb) is one of the most common gynaecological cancers in women.
  More results at FactBites »



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