Detecting cancer of the uterus and endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer occurs frequently, and is the fourth highest cause of female cancer mortality. It does however have a pretty good prognosis. This cancer develops quite slowly and detection is often early (70-80% of cases are detected at stage 1). There is as yet no one specific detection test that can detect this type of cancer even earlier than stage 1. Thus there is no mass cancer detection program rolled out to women in the industrialised world.

Neither the smear test, not a vaginal ultrasound scan, nor a hysteroscopy is precise enough (or sensitive, specific and non-invasive) to be considered as a mass detection method.

Nevertheless certain risk factors exist that can indicate a predisposition to this type of cancer: being overweight, having arterial hypertension, suffering from diabetes, having a history of infertility, or certain family cancers may render certain patients  at a high risk requiring rigorous monitoring with a detailed examination at any time of concern.

This is why after the menopause, women who experience breakthrough bleeding should immediately make an appointment so that specific diagnostic tests can be run (ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy, and endometrial biopsy) to make a clear diagnosis and decide on an appropriate treatment plan if one is necessary.


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