Endometrial Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Surgery and Follow-up
The most widely used operation for the treatment of endometrial carcinoma is total abdominal hysterectomy. Total abdominal hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus (including the cervix). The fallopian tubes and the ovaries are also removed. Often, the surgery entails the removal of the lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy) in the pelvic and paraaortic areas.
After therapy has been completed, the woman undergoes testing to determine how effective the treatment has been. If the CA 125 (tumor marker) level was high at the time of diagnosis, this level will be checked again to see whether it returned to a normal level after treatment. A woman may also undergo other blood tests and imaging tests that provide clues to disease recurrence. A doctor requires a woman to be tested and examined regularly so that disease recurrence (if it happens) can be found early. The doctor will discuss a schedule for these follow-up visits with the woman and her family members.
Some risk factors cannot be avoided. For example, neither a previous cancer of the breast, colon, or ovaries nor a family history of these cancers can be avoided. Early puberty and late menopause are part of a person's genetic makeup and cannot be changed.
Being vigilant to catch endometrial and other genital cancers early is something that can be controlled. A woman should not be afraid or ashamed to go to her health-care provider about abnormal bleeding or other unusual symptoms involving her genital tract. Putting off seeing a health-care provider prevents early diagnosis and treatment that, in turn, could prevent serious complications or even death.
William T Creasman, MD
Must Read Articles Related to Endometrial Cancer
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Endometrial Cancer:
Endometrial Cancer - Symptoms
What were your symptoms of endometrial cancer?