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Endometrial Cancer

Integrative Treatment Options for All Stages of Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial Cancer Treatment Center

Endometrial cancer develops in the uterus and is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic malignancy. For women in the United States, it is the fourth most common cancer after breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. The incidence of endometrial cancer is increasing, with over 65,000 new cases diagnosed annually.

What Is Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer — sometimes called uterine cancer — is a type of cancer that starts in the uterus, a hollow pelvic organ where a fetus grows during pregnancy. The cancer begins in the cells that form the uterus lining, called the endometrium.

Because of its signs and symptoms, endometrial cancer is generally diagnosed in its early stages. If the cancer is discovered before it has spread to other areas of the body, surgical removal of the uterus is typically the preferred treatment.

Endometrial cancer that has not spread has a five-year survival rate of between 74 and 91 percent.

Endometrial cancer causes, symptoms, and holistic treatment

Types of Uterine and Endometrial Cancer

There are several types of uterine and endometrial cancer categorized by where the cancer begins:

  • Endometrioid adenocarcinoma, the most common type of endometrial cancer that develops in the endometrium glands.
  • Uterine papillary serous carcinoma, an aggressive yet rare type of endometrial cancer that grows in the lining of the uterus. It often returns following treatment, even if it is discovered in the early stages of disease.
  • Uterine clear cell carcinoma, a rare form of uterine cancer comprising less than 5 percent of diagnoses.
  • Uterine carcinosarcoma, a rare and often aggressive form of cancer.
  • Uterine sarcoma (also called myometrium), a cancer that develops in the uterus’s muscle wall.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer include the following:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding unrelated to menstruation
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • General pain in the pelvic region
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause

These symptoms can occur in patients that do not have endometrial cancer. However, a prompt diagnosis is key to successful treatment, so those who are concerned should visit their doctor.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer occurs when mutations form in the DNA of cells in the endometrium. These mutations cause cells to become abnormal — they multiply at a rapid rate and do not die at a set time. The mutated cells accumulate and eventually create a mass called a tumor. Sometimes, the tumor invades nearby tissue or breaks apart and spreads to distant areas of the body. When this happens, the cancer is said to have metastasized.

Doctors do not know what triggers mutations in the endometrium cells’ DNA. However, they have identified risk factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing the disease. These include:

  • A higher number of years menstruating. Women who started menstruating before age 12 or began menopause later than usual may be at an increased risk of endometrial cancer — the more periods one has had, the higher their risk of endometrial cancer.
  • Hormone therapy for breast cancer, such as taking the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen.
  • Imbalances of female hormones, which may occur as a result of irregular ovulation caused by obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and diabetes.
  • Inherited colon cancer syndrome, called Lynch syndrome or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), which is caused by a gene mutation.
  • Never being pregnant, which puts individuals at a greater risk than those who have been pregnant.
  • Obesity, as excess body fat can change the body’s hormone balance.
  • Older age, as endometrial cancer typically occurs after menopause.

How Is Endometrial Cancer Staged?

Endometrial cancer stages range from stage I (one) to IV (four) — the lower the stage number, the less the cancer has spread. Higher stages of endometrial cancer, such as stage IV, indicate the cancer has spread to other areas of the body or metastasized.

Although each patient’s cancer diagnosis is unique, cancers within the same stage are often treated in a similar way.

How Is Endometrial Cancer Conventionally Treated?

The standard treatment for endometrial cancer is a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) and salpingo-oophorectomy (surgery to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries). Hysterectomies have significant ramifications — people who undergo the procedure cannot become pregnant. If the ovaries are removed, the patient will experience menopause if they have not already.

In addition, 1 percent of patients experience post-operative complications, including infectious venous thromboembolic, bleeding, vaginal cuff dehiscence, nerve injury, and genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract injury.

Another treatment option for endometrial cancer is radiation therapy, which uses radioactive beams similar to X-rays to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is sometimes included in a patient’s treatment plan, too, depending on their prognosis, the stage of the cancer, their preferences, and their overall health. However, there are important quality-of-life considerations to make before patients and their healthcare team can decide whether to pursue chemotherapy.

How We Treat Endometrial Cancer Holistically

Endometrial cancer treatments are not one-size-fits-all. That’s why our dedicated team offers a holistic approach to health, one that supports and uplifts your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Based on your personal history, physical exam, labs, imaging, and overall health, we combine leading-edge medical technology with natural supplement IVs to supercharge your immune system and equip your body with the strength it needs to combat disease.

If you are ready to learn more about holistic treatment for endometrial cancer, please schedule your free consultation with our patient care coordinators. They can answer your questions, address your concerns, and set you on a path of hope, wellness, and vitality.

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