Any cancer begins first in the cells, which are the building blocks of life. On a daily basis, old cells die and new cells replace them .There are times when this process goes horribly wrong.
Old cells stop dying and new cells are constantly being produced. This gives rise to cancer or tumours. A tumour that originates in the uterus can be termed as a cancerous tumour or uterine cancer.
Malignant tumours in the uterus can invade nearby tissues and organs and are usually a threat to life. The most common symptoms of uterine cancer are abnormal bleeding with excruciating cramps, difficulty in urination and painful sexual intercourse.
A diagnosis of uterine cancer is normally done with the help of tissue biopsy, pelvic exams and ultrasounds, which can help to show the tumours.
Best Treatments For Uterine Cancer
The treatment for uterine cancer depends a lot on whether the tumour has invaded the muscle layer of the uterus, whether it has invaded muscles outside the uterus, or whether it has spread to nearby tissues and the grade of the tumour.
In case the cancer has spread to the entire uterus including the cervix and the vagina and the woman’s reproductive health is not severely compromised, then the doctors may consider a surgery. In this, the entire uterus is removed. This is called a hysterectomy.
More often than not this turns out to be successful as the entire uterus is removed which eliminates any risk of the cancer spreading. Most women go home within a few days after the surgery. You may however experience some minimal pain and discomfort.
Medication to relieve the pain can be given. In case you have not had menopause, you will start experiencing all the typical symptoms of menopause like night sweats, weight gain and hot flashes.
You will also not be able to become pregnant. To be on the safer side, the doctor may also recommend a round of radiation therapy in case any cancer cells remain in the body.
This is an option, which can be used in conjunction with surgery or even before the surgery. Women who are still in the first stage of cancer where the cancer cells are minimal and localized may take recourse to radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy is also effective for women whose cancer has spread deep into the uterus and beyond the endometrial lining of the uterus. In this, external radiation is administered to the affected part to kill the cancer cells.
In some cases, a cylinder is inserted into the woman’s uterus with radioactive material. This is called as internal radiation. The common side effects of radiation therapy include loss of pubic hair, redness, itching, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
Chemotherapy uses very powerful drugs to kill the cancerous cells. It may be used after surgery especially if the person has a chance of the cancer returning. This is done when the cancer has advanced and has spread to neighbouring tissues and organs. It may also be used in conjunction with radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy includes drugs administered through the vein. There are cycles of chemotherapy, which last for a few days followed by a rest period. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills the normal healthy cells of the body. This can lead to nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, weakness, joint pain and loss of balance.