Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer affects the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. This is the fourth most common cancer affecting women in the U.S. After skin cancer, endometrial cancer is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer.

Causes of Endometrial Cancer

The exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown. However, certain factors increase the risk, such as:

  • Being over the age of 50
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • History of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Use of estrogen medication for more than 10 years
  • Never having been pregnant

Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer

Some of the most common symptoms of endometrial cancer include:

  • Abnormal bleeding, especially after menopause
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Feeling of fullness or bloating in the lower abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometrial Cancer

Your doctor will likely begin by performing a physical exam and performing imaging tests, such as a pelvic ultrasound, to check for signs of endometrial cancer. A tissue sample may also be taken to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of endometrial cancer usually involves surgery to remove the tumors and the uterus.

Risks of endometrial cancer can be reduced by taking steps to maintain a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet. Your doctor may also recommend periodic gynecologic exams to monitor for signs of endometrial cancer.