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Uterine cancer is the third most common type of Gynaecological cancers marked by abnormal cell growth in the endometrial lining of the uterus. This is why the malignancy is also termed as endometrial cancer. 
The uterus, commonly known as the womb, is one of the most important female reproductive organs in which the baby develops. The inner lining of the uterus, known as endometrium, sheds its top-most layer every month along with the menstrual blood. Uterine cancer is likely to affect women who have attained menopause or are on the verge of it.

Risk factors

Age is one of the most important risk factors when it comes to uterine cancer. Usually, older women who have attained menopause are likely to develop the problem. However, reports have shown that 5 per cent of the women detected with the problem are below 40 years of age.

Other risk factors that may increase your vulnerability to uterine cancer include:

  • Early menses 
  • Late menopause
  • No pregnancy 
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic conditions (especially in young women)

Prevention

The following tips can help to reduce your vulnerability to uterine cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy BMI. Obesity is an open invitation to a plethora of diseases including uterine cancer. Losing your weight can help to reduce the risks and lead a healthy life.
  • Exercises and especially yoga can help to keep your uterus healthy thereby negating any risks of uterine cancer.
  • Use oral contraceptives. These can effectively reduce the risks of developing uterine cancer. However, oral contraceptives do have certain side effects associated with them and hence it is important to consult a specialist before taking them.
  • If you are planning to undergo hormonal therapy, make sure you discuss all the possibilities with your doctor beforehand. 

Symptoms

These symptoms may be an indication of uterine cancer:

  • Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Persistent pelvic pain

Diagnosis and detection

The only good thing about uterine cancer is that it can be easily detected at an early stage and this early detection leads to early treatment which guarantees a survival rate of almost 90 per cent. 
However, the fact that a lot of women don’t talk about the problem openly or do not seek help at the right time can increase the complications. 
Diagnosis usually involves the biopsy of the endometrium which is an out-patient procedure, performed without the use of anaesthesia. A small portion of tissue is removed with the help of a narrow tube, which is inserted inside the patient’s body via the cervix, and analysed carefully for any abnormality.
Doctors may also suggest hysteroscopy, which is a type of targeted biopsy. It involves the use of a hysteroscope, a thin flexible tube that helps to examine the uterus with higher efficiency.
Apart from these, pelvic examination, a transvaginal ultrasound, computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging may also be recommended.

Treatment

In the early stages, i.e. stage I and stage II, doctors usually recommend the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries which is to be followed by radiation therapy to negate any further possibilities of cancer returning back. In later stages, i.e. stage III and stage IV, chemotherapy is opted.
 

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