Uterine Cancer Diagnosed and Treated by Mercy's Gynecologic Oncologists

 

This 3D medical animation shows an endometrial biopsy procedure. In the animation, a small pipelle device is used to harvest tissue from the lining of the uterus.

For early diagnosis and treatment of uterine cancer, it is important to find the best doctors who have a thorough understanding and experience recognizing the symptoms of uterine cancer, also referred to as endometrial cancer. Dr. Dwight Im, Dr. Neil Rosenshein, Dr. Teresa Diaz-Montes and Dr. Hyung Ryu of The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy in Baltimore have the knowledge and skills needed for treating female reproductive tract cancers, including ovarian, cervical, uterine or endometrial cancers.

About the Condition

There are two kinds of uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer, the most common type of uterine cancer, begins in the uterus lining. Uterine sarcoma, the least common type of uterine cancer, begins in the uterus' muscle wall. Uterine cancer usually is diagnosed at an early stage since it often forms after menopause when uterine cancer symptoms are more likely to be noticed and addressed.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Uterine Cancer Symptoms

The most common uterine cancer symptom is abnormal uterine bleeding sometimes accompanied by pelvic pain or pressure. It is important to receive a pelvic exam when any of the following uterine cancer symptoms occur:

  • Abnormal bleeding or discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Trouble urinating

Tests for Uterine Cancer

There is no specific screening to test for uterine cancer. If abnormalities of the uterus are found during a pelvic exam, the following tests may be performed to determine if uterine cancer is present:

  • Transvaginal ultrasound - through use of soundwaves, an image is created allowing for a full view of the uterus
  • Hysteroscopy - to provide a full view of the uterus, a lighted, flexible tube with a lens is inserted into the uterus
  • Biopsy - a sample of tissue is taken from the uterus and tested for uterine cancer
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) - under general anesthesia, tissue is scraped or snipped from the uterus to be examined for uterine cancer

Stages of Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer often is detected at an early stage. The stages of uterine cancer include:

  • Stage I - uterine cancer is only in the uterus
  • Stage II - uterine cancer is in the uterus and cervix
  • Stage III - uterine cancer is in the pelvic area, including lymph nodes
  • Stage IV - uterine cancer has spread to organs such as lungs, bowel, bladder, and abdomen

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Uterine cancer treatment typically involves surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. If uterine cancer is detected early, a hysterectomy, or the removal of the uterus, often is sufficient for eliminating the uterine cancer. In advanced stages of uterine cancer, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed along with the uterus. Radiation and chemotherapy may be used individually or in combination to treat uterine cancer following a hysterectomy. Radiation can be used to control pain as well as reduce the risk of uterine cancer recurrence.

NEXT: Patient Stories ›
Patient Stories
Patient receives treatment for cancer at Mercy

Maureen

A nurse takes on the roles of patient and cancer survivor after facing a uterine cancer diagnosis and going through treatment at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy.

Patient receives treatment for cancer at Mercy

Mindy

Meet Mindy - a cancer survivor who learned she had a serious genetic condition before it was too late thanks to the knowledge and dedication of her doctor.

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