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What is endometrial cancer?

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Quick Answer

Endometrial cancer is a common type of uterine cancer that begins in the uterine lining, states MedlinePlus. Endometrial cancer mostly occurs in people between the ages of 60 and 70.

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Excessive estrogen hormone in the body compared to progesterone hormone can cause endometrial cancer, according to WebMD. This imbalance of the hormones results in the thickening of the uterine lining, which makes cancer cells begin to grow.

Common symptoms of endometrial cancer include postmenopausal thin, white vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause, lower abdominal pain, and extremely long, heavy, or frequent episodes of vaginal bleeding after the age of 40, says MedlinePlus. Tests that may be done to examine the presence of endometrial cancer include dilation and curettage, pap smear, endometrial biopsy, and imaging tests to examine the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

Treatments for endometrial cancer include radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, states MedlinePlus. Women with early-stage cancer may undergo surgery to remove the uterus. Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tube may also be recommended by doctors. A combination of radiation therapy and surgery is also a treatment option for endometrial cancer. To reduce the risk of getting endometrial cancer, patients should use birth control pills for more than a year and maintain a normal body weight.

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