Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Most cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in an early stage. This is because women who have reached menopause usually see their doctors when they have vaginal bleeding. To check your symptoms, your doctor will perform a medical history and physical exam. The physical exam will include a pelvic exam and Pap test.
An endometrial biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. A biopsy removes a small sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for examination under a microscope.
Additional tests may include:
Testing for endometrial cancer may show that you have endometrial hyperplasia. This is not cancer but may develop into cancer. One type of hyperplasia, atypical adenomatous hyperplasia, progresses to cancer in about 1 out of 3 women.1
Tests to find out the extent (stage) of endometrial cancer include:
Your doctor will determine the stage of your cancer at the time of your surgery. Other tests done before surgery may include:
An imaging test may be done before surgery to look for spread (metastasis) of cancer in the abdomen and pelvis. This helps with planning for treatment. Imaging tests include the following:
After endometrial cancer is confirmed, surgery is usually done to remove the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This is called a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Sometimes the pelvic lymph nodes are also removed. The removed tissue is examined to find out the stage and grade of cancer.
There is no early detection test for endometrial cancer. If you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a medical evaluation. Unexpected bleeding, or more bleeding than normal, can be a symptom of endometrial cancer.
The American Cancer Society advises women who are nearing menopause to learn about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer.4
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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