Endometrial Cancer is the most common gynecological cancer. The occurrence of vaginal bleeding after menopause is suspect. Endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus and in case of postmenopausal bleeding, endometrial cancer needs to be ruled out.
Menopause is defined as the absence of menses for at least one year. The average age for the “change” or menopause is 52. In cases of endometrial cancer irregular and sometimes heavy bleeding occurs around the age of menopause. In some cases an abnormal discharge could be present.
Endometrial cancer is rare in younger women. Most postmenopausal women are alarmed if they notice the onset of bleeding and seek medical care promptly. Therefore this disease is usually diagnosed fairly early and this results in a good prognosis if the stage and grade of cancer is relatively low. Risk factors that are associated with endometrial cancer are obesity, hypertension, diabetes, polycystic ovarian disease, lack of pregnancies, late menopause and family history of cancer. Birth control pill use has been found to be associated with a lower risk for endometrial cancer.
Diagnostic studies for endometrial cancer include an ultrasound (pelvic ultrasonogram), to measure endometrial thickness, endometrial biopsy and D&C (dilatation and curettage- dilating the cervix and scraping the uterine cavity to assess uterine pathology) and hysteroscopy (to inspect the uterine cavity and lining with a fiberoptic device). The treatment uf endometrial cancer is accomplished with surgery to remove the uterus and cervix (total hysterectomy) with tubes and ovaries (bilateral salpingo- oophorectomy) also usually removal of pelvic and abdominal lymph nodes ( pelvic and abdominal lymphadenectomy) to detect and deter the spread of the disease.