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Risk Factors for Uterine Cancer

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Uterine cancer is the fourth most prevalent type of cancer in women. It affects the lining of the uterus, the hollow reproductive organ in the pelvis. Diagnosis usually is done through biopsy, ultrasound, or a pelvic examination, and if you click here, you can find more information on how to determine the stages of cancer. Women who experience symptoms such as pelvic pains, pain during sex or urination, or abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding should immediately get checked for uterine cancer. There is yet no known specific cause of uterine cancer, but there are factors that can increase the risk in women. Some of these risks include:

  • Obesity
  • Menopause after 55 years old
  • Women who never experienced childbirth
  • Women who suffer from hyperplasia (or endometrial overgrowth)
  • Radiation on the pelvis
  • Experiencing menstruation before the age of 12
  • Women taking estrogen or tamoxifen (a treatment for breast cancer)
  • Lynch syndrome, or any family history of uterine cancer

There are a number of ways that uterine cancer can be treated, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and surgery. The type of treatment generally depends on the stage that the cancer is in. it is important for patients to get a second and even third opinion regarding the uterine cancer diagnosis, and referrals can be provided by the attending doctor. Likewise, the follow-up care is just as important, since recurrence can occur and so that complications can be treated early.

It is important to treat uterine cancer to prevent it from worsening. One of the complications that can occur during the surgical removal or a tumor in the uterus or areas around it is the possible spread of the cancer cells. Surgical tools such as the power morcellator have been recalled by the FDA following increasing reports of the device increasing the spreading of undetected cancer cells to other parts of the body. The largest manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, was believed to have known of the risks that the surgical tool can cause since 2006, but only did a voluntary pull-out of the device in 2014. There is currently an ongoing FBI investigation on the extent of the manufacturing company’s knowledge of the risk and how long they were aware of them.

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