Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

What Is Recurrent Endometrial Cancer?

Recurrent endometrial cancer is a form of cancer that returns after having been previously treated. Endometrial cancer is a cancer that originates in the cells of the lining of the womb, known as the endometrium. This can occur in any woman of reproductive age, and it is estimated that around 1 in 37 women will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in their lifetime.

Signs and Symptoms of Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

Signs and symptoms of recurrent endometrial cancer vary, but typically include abnormal bleeding, pain or discomfort in the abdomen or pelvis, bloating, nausea, or changes in urinary frequency. Advanced stages of recurrent endometrial cancer may spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or bones, and may cause additional symptoms like shortness of breath, jaundice, or pain in the bone.

Diagnostic Tests for Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

Diagnosis of recurrent endometrial cancer can involve a combination of imaging tests, blood tests, and biopsies. Imaging tests may include CT or MRI scans to look for signs of spread of the cancer. Blood tests may be used to assess kidney and liver function, as well as to measure levels of hormones or other substances in the bloodstream that may indicate the presence of cancer. A biopsy, which involves taking a small sample of tissue from the endometrium, may be necessary to confirm diagnosis of recurrent endometrial cancer.

Treatments for Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

Treatment for recurrent endometrial cancer will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the patient's overall health. Treatment options can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery may be used to remove the tumor as well as some surrounding tissue. Radiation or chemotherapy can be used to shrink the tumor or remove any remaining cancer cells. Hormone therapy may be used to stop the growth of cancer cells that rely on estrogen or progesterone. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy may be used to boost the body's own immune response against cancer.

Prevention of Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent recurrent endometrial cancer, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk. Some of these include:

  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of endometrial cancer.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Take hormones according to the doctor's prescription.