Endometrial Cancer is a group of cancers that arise from in the lining of the Uterus called the Endometrium.
May also be known to or referred to as Uterine Cancer.
This type of cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in the genital tract. It is typically seen in women of age 50-70. It is important to understand that over 35,000 women are diagnosed every year with this cancer.
Some women who are the greatest risk may because they have taken unopposed Estrogen in the past. This is not the only risk factors.
80% of cases of Endometrial Cancer are of the subtype – Endometrioid Carcinoma. That is a quite large amount and clearly the largest of the subtypes.
Additional Risk Factors May Include:
– Bearing no having children
– Polycystic ovaries
– Prolonged use of tamoxifen (for breast cancer)
– and others.
– Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting
– Abdominal pain
– Vaginal discharge [white or clear]
*** – Tissue (endometrial) sampling is important for prevention in those with abnormal bleeding.
– Usually Adenocarcinomas – originate from a single layer of epithelial cells that line the endometrium.
– Several microscopic subtypes
Categorized as Type I or Type II
– This occurs in pre and peri menopausal women.
– Often found in white women
– Low – grade, minimally invasive, estrogen-dependent, and good prognosis
– 75-90% of cancers
– Occurs in older women
– More often found in black women
– Not associated with estrogen
– High grade, deep invasion, and a poorer prognosis
– Tend to be more aggressive and greater chance for relapse or metastasis
– Cancer grows in the endometrium – often the tissue or from Endometrial glands.
– Well-differentiated cells that usually won’t invade the myometrium.
– Seen in patients with a history of endometrial hyperplasia.
– If higher grade – less differentiation is seen.
– Ciliated Cell
– This type is a Type II type
– Makes up 5-10% of Endometrial Cancers
– It is often an aggressive form cancer and often invades the myometrium and metastasizes.
Clear Cell Carcinoma
– This type is a Type II type
– Makes up less than 5% of Endometrial Cancers
– It is an aggressive form and has a poorer prognosis
– This is a rare form of Endometial Cancer with less that 1%.
– It is a Type I and has a good prognosis
– Well-differentiated cells
Mixed or Undifferentiated Carcinoma
– Can be a Type I or Type II cells
– Can be mixed with Mullerian tumor
– Often have no identifiable patterns
– Poorer prognosis.
– Non-metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma
– Transitional cell Carcinoma – rare
– Are different than endometrial carcinomas *** – Very important to understand the difference.
– They are uncommon
– Arise from the stromal.
– Originate in non-glandular connective tissues of the endometrium
Metastasis – When a Cancer Moves
– Endometrial cancers will move away from the site of initial invasion in some, but not all cases.
– They can go to the Ovaries or Fallopian Tubes.
– Often if cancer is in the upper part of the Uterus it will go to the ovaries and fallopian tubes
– If in the lower part of the uterus it will often go to the Cervix.
– First, it spreads to the myometrium and then to the serosa.
– If the Lymphatic system is involved – lymph nodes and other locations can be seen.
– Distant Metastases include the lungs, liver, brain, and bone.
– Distant Metastases are spread by the blood.
Staging of the Cancer:
Stage IA: – Tumor only found in endometrium
Stage IB: – Less then half the myometrium involved
Stage IC: – More than half the myometrium involved
Stage IIA: – Endocervical involvement only
Stage IIB: – Cervical stromal invasion
Stage IIIA: – Tumor begins localized invasion or malignant peritoneal cytology
Stage IIIB: – Metastasis to vagina wall
Stage IIIC: – Metastasis to regional lymph nodes
Stage IVA: – Metastasis to bladder or bowel
Stage IVB: – Metastasis to distant organs
Potential Treatment Options
– Surgical hysterectomy
– Cytologic examination
– Hormone Therapy
Prognosis is 5+ yr survival of 80-85%
Greater the invasion the worst the prognosis