Europe has some of the highest rates of uterine cancer in the world. More than one in 20 female cancers affect the endometrium (the most common type of uterine cancer) , and the number of cases is increasing. This is partly because of the ageing of the European population, but rising rates of obesity are known to be an important contributory factor. Due to the complexity of diagnosing and treating cancer, it is advised that a gynecologic-oncologist (gynecologist with special additional education in the field of gynecological oncology) deal with this disease.
For an examination and consultation, make an appointment at our gynecological clinic. An online consultation is also available.
What is uterine cancer?
– When a normal uterine cell changes to an abnormal one and begins to multiply without control, uterine cancer occurs. The uterus has a thin inner and thick outer layer. There are different types of uterine cancer, but most of them start in the cells of the thin inner layer. Uterine cancer can occur in women of any age, but is much more common in women who have gone through menopause. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating.
What are the symptoms of uterine cancer?
– Abnormal vaginal bleeding which includes:
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Menstrual bleeding heavier than usual
- Any vaginal bleeding in a woman who has already gone through menopause
These symptoms can be caused by some other diseases, but if you notice them, contact us for an examination or online consultation.
Is there a test to detect uterine cancer?
– Yes, there is. If you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, we will suggest a biopsy of the lining of the uterus to determine if cancer is present.
We will also suggest a biopsy of the uterine mucosa to women who have gone through menopause and who have a thickened uterine mucosa on ultrasound, which we measure on ultrasound.
What is cancer staging?
– Determining how far the cancer has spread. There are 4 stages of ovarian cancer. Once we determine the stage of the disease, it does not change.
What is the appropriate treatment for uterine cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, but also on how fast it grows, how old the woman is and whether she has other medical problems.
How is uterine cancer treated?
– Most women with uterine cancer undergo surgery to remove the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. During the operation, we check the area and organs around the uterus to determine if the cancer has spread. If necessary, we remove other organs that look abnormal. Some women will not need further treatment after surgery, while some will need chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is a medical term for drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. It is given through the veins in most patients. Radiation therapy also kills cancer cells. Radiation can be given from a machine located outside the woman’s body or from a radiation source that a radiologist places in a woman’s vagina.
What happens after treatment?
– Treatment is followed by monitoring. You will come for check-ups at certain intervals in order to check if the cancer is coming back. Tests usually include blood tests and imaging tests.
You should also watch out for symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain or a persistent cough. Let us know if you have these symptoms. They could mean that the cancer has returned.
What is the prognosis of ovarian cancer?
– The prognosis depends on the stage of the disease. There are 4 stages of ovarian cancer. Once we determine the stage of the disease, it does not change. The stage helps us to determine the therapy, but also to predict the prognosis of the disease. There are other factors that affect the prognosis.
What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?
– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you may have more surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
Is it possible to have sexual intercourse after the treatment?
– Yes. Removal of the uterus does not remove the vagina and the woman can have normal sexual life. After intravaginal radiation therapy, vaginal stenosis and possible penetration problems may occur. There are special vaginal dilators that are used during radiation therapy to prevent vaginal stenosis.
Can a young woman with uterine cancer get pregnant?
– There is this possibility in the case that a young woman has uterine cancer in the initial phase and that she responds well to the planned therapy. In such cases, if pregnancy occurs, after the woman gives birth, we will perform the planned operation and remove the uterus.