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Endometrial Cancer Therapy

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Endometrial cancer causes due to the uncontrollable growth of cells in the uterus. If this growth is not controlled in the initial stages, it keeps on spreading in the nearby areas and distant locations as well. The extent of cancer spread decides the stage of cancer, curing cancer in metastasis is quite difficult. Once you visit the doctor for diagnosis, your doctor will decide the precise endometrial cancer therapy that can help you to cope with your cancer.

A preoperative estimation is executed for each patient. Some patients are considered inoperable since the risk due to anesthesia and surgery is very high. Obesity, cardiac diseases and diabetes are some of the risk elevating factors. Such patients are treated with internal or external radiotherapy. Internal radiotherapy means locating a media of radiation in the uterus cavity. This therapy is also termed as brachytherapy. External radiotherapy involves targeting the tumor by the radiations produced through the external source. For patients who are capable to tolerate the operable process, surgery is the best method to remove the tumor as well as its traces from the uterus.

Staging and removal of cancer cells:

Endometrial cancer surgery is helpful in the staging of the cancer. Staging is performed by examining the tumor according to its location, size, and the extent at which they are spread. Surgeon detects the presence of tumor in the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, in the lymph nodes, in the pelvic region as well as in the abdominal cavity. To find out the presence of cancer cells in the abdominal cavity, the surgeon pours a liquid in it and removes it through suction. This helps them to search the cancer cells in this cavity. This method is termed as peritoneal washing.

All the tissues taken out during the operation are sent in to the pathology lab for examination (histopathological examination). Surgery involves cutting and removing of the parts that are infected by cancer.

Adjuvant therapy:

An adjuvant therapy is an endometrial cancer therapy which is performed in addition to the surgery.

Adjuvant endometrial cancer therapy for stage 1: This includes consultations with doctors on a regular basis. During this, the doctor will perform a detail analysis of the patient's medical history, a physical as well as vaginal test. In case you show any symptoms and signs of cancer development, further examinations such as blood tests, radiological test and other examinations under the influence of anesthesia are conducted.

  • Pelvis radiotherapy: Pelvis is examined by using some radiations targeted through the external source to the pelvis. This is an external form of radiotherapy.

  • Vaginal Brach therapy: This is an internal form of radiotherapy, where the radiations are targeted to the vaginal cavity. The preferences of therapy are decided on the basis of the grade and sub-stage of the tumor.

For patients with 1-2 grade tumor and stage IA, IB, observation is advised. For patients experiencing grade 3 tumor, chemotherapy is discussed and vaginal brachytherapy can be used. However, if the spread of cancer is not checked in the lymph nodes during the surgery, pelvic therapy can be performed on the patient.

Adjuvant endometrial cancer therapy for stage II:

This therapy includes the following methods:

  • Pelvic radiotherapy
  • Vaginal brachytherapy: This therapy can only be used if the tumor in the patient is at grade I and without lymphovascular invasion.
  • When the presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes is not examined during the surgery, both vaginal brachytherapy and pelvic radiotherapy can be suggested.
  • For grade 3 tumor, chemotherapy may be considered as it can help to reduce the possibilities of any additional pelvic recurrence (spread of cancer cells outside the pelvis is termed as metastasis).

Adjuvant therapy for stage III and stage IV endometrial cancer post surgery:

Adjuvant therapies should be personalized by considering the needs, health status and uterine cancer prognosis of each patient. In this type of endometrial cancer therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be performed alone or in combination.

Vaginal brachytherapy and pelvic radiotherapy are advised the patients with stage III endometrial cancer post surgery.

If the cancer is found to be spread in the lymph nodes and patient is undergoing grade 3 cancer, chemotherapy is recommended by the doctors. Many times your doctor may prefer to perform chemotherapy before the surgery since it has the potential to reduce the size of the tumor before taking it out through surgery. Radiotherapy (both external and internal) prevents the recurrence of the local tumor (in the pelvis). Chemotherpay essentially prevents the spread of cancer outside the pelvis.

All the above adjuvant therapies are helpful to deal with the spread of cancer. Your doctor will examine your health status and ask for your preference for deciding the right endometrial cancer therapy.

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