Know More About Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer occurs in the uterus which is lined by the endometrium, one of the internal layers lining the organ. It is a pear-shaped hollow structure that is responsible for the development of the fetus during pregnancy. The uterus serves as a home to the baby until the parturition. Most of the cancers of the uterus are endometrial cancer.
Endometrial cancer is also called uterine cancer. Generally, it can be detected at the early stages as the symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding. Removing the uterus surgically can be one of the possible solutions to cure the disease. If left untreated, the disease can spread to fallopian tubes, bladder, vagina, or other surrounding tissues.
- Some mutations can occur in the DNA of the cells that form the endometrium and line the uterus internally. The healthy and normal cells become abnormal and undergo uncontrolled division. The accumulating cells form a mass and turn into tumors. It may detach from its original position and lead to affecting other body parts as well.
- The female reproductive system produces two hormones namely estrogen and progesterone. If for any reason, the body produces estrogen but not progesterone, the chances of developing endometrial cancer are increased.
- The irregular ovulation patterns due to health problems like obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, and diabetes may lead to the development of endometrial cancer. Any ovarian tumor releasing estrogen can also be one of the risk factors for the same.
- If menstruation begins at an early age, maybe before 12 years, or menopause arrives late, the probability of getting hit with endometrial cancer is increased. Obesity and old age also contribute to its risk factors.
- If an individual is under hormone therapy and drugs like tamoxifen are being administered, the risk of developing endometrial cancer is high. Genetic conditions like Lynch syndrome are also contributors to this condition.
Types of endometrial cancer
The various types of endometrial cancer are:
It is one of the most common forms of endometrial cancer that occurs in the glands present in the endometrium. They may differ in severity in different individuals.
Uterine clear cell carcinoma
It is one of the rare subtypes that begins in the female endometrium lining. It makes up nearly 5% of cancer cases.
Uterine papillary serous carcinoma
It is an aggressive form of the endometrium or uterine cancer. Even if it is diagnosed at an early stage and cured, the chances of recurring are always there.
It is a rarely occurring but aggressive form of uterine carcinosarcoma. It constitutes less than 5% of the cases.
This type of cancer occurs in the muscle wall of the uterus termed myometrium. The uterine sarcoma comes under 10% of cancers. This form is more aggressive than others.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer are as follows:
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding between the periods
- Difficult or painful urination
- Painful intercourse
- Enlarged uterus
- Unintended weight loss
- Pain or weakness in the back, lower abdomen, or legs
To confirm the presence or absence of endometrial cancer, several diagnosis methods are applied.
During a pelvic examination, the doctor checks the external genitals and checks for possible signs and symptoms. During this stage, the abnormalities are identified if any.
Use of sound waves
It refers to an ultrasound of the abdomen to look at the texture and thickness of the endometrium. A transducer is usually inserted in the vagina to receive digital images of the internal layers.
During a hysteroscopy, a thin, flexible, and light tube is inserted into the uterus. The lens or the camera present at its tip helps the doctor to look inside the uterus.
The process of biopsy involves collecting a sample of cells or tissues to be analyzed under a microscope in the laboratory for the presence of cancer cells. Some tissues are removed from the uterine lining to be taken as the sample.
Surgical sample collection
If the sample taken through biopsy is not enough for testing or provides unclear results, the doctor may perform a minor surgery called dilation and curettage. The tissue is scraped and sent for testing.
Consequences of treatments
The allopathic treatments might pose some after-effects of the treatments. Based on the immunity and strength of the body, the symptoms can either be mild or severe. Some of them are:
- After targeted therapy, the patient might experience mouth sores, dry mouth, fluctuation in mineral levels, changes in liver and kidney functioning, and loss of appetite.
- Some of the common symptoms that are observed after immunotherapy in patients are headache, cough, decreased appetite, localized rashes, itching, and others. Other issues can occur in the form of diarrhea, heart palpitations, fatigue, and weight gain through fluid accumulation.
- Chemotherapy may lead to nausea, vomiting, tiredness, reduced red blood cell count, constipation, change in appetite, infection, and several others. Radiotherapy can cause concentration issues, fatigue, headache, issues with skin, blurred vision, and hair loss among others.
- Surgery leads to an inability to conceive for the rest of the life and the patient can experience symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Long-term side effects can include osteoporosis and heart-related issues as well.
During the surgery for endometrial cancer, an operation is performed to remove the uterus along with the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. Further, it becomes impossible after this surgery to conceive.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams or radiations like X-rays or protons that are targeted at the cancer cells. Radiotherapy is also suggested after surgery to eliminate the chances of recurrence of the disease.
The machine can move around the body of the patient and direct the radiation to specific points in the body. A tiny device acting as a source of radiation can be put inside the body for a definite period of time.
It uses special drugs or chemicals to remove the cancer cells and inhibit their action. It is performed in combination with the other procedures as well. The cancer cells are targeted and eliminated from the body.
Immunotherapy is performed to boost the immune system of the body and help it find cancer cells. It is generally administered to people who have reached advanced levels of anal cancer. Usually, the tumor cells produce proteins that are unidentified by the normal cells, which leads to their multiplication.
Targeted Drug Therapy
The targeted drug therapy involves focusing on the malfunctions present in the cancer cells. Through this therapy, the abnormalities are blocked, which leads to destroying them.
Supportive or Palliative Care
Supportive care is also provided by the doctors, which involves providing relief from pain and discomfort to the patient. It involves looking for new treatments that could be applied to treat the disease. The specially trained professionals aim to improve the quality of life of the patients.
Why chose Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the oldest form of medicine and has been used for a long time. It has offered an effective cure for various complex diseases as well. Natural herbs like turmeric, ashwagandha, ginger, and garlic, are known to be effective in treating various forms of female reproductive disorders and cancers.
Turmeric is a wonderful herb known for its healing properties. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in limiting the growth of cancer cells. Garlic contains the element allicin which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, ashwagandha, being an adaptogen, adjusts to the body’s needs. Ginger is known to be effective in preventing various forms of uterine and endometrial cancer.
It is composed of five elements like Vayu, Teja, Prithvi, Aakash, and Jala. it seeks to maintain a balance between mind, body, and spirit. It is a complete system in itself that promotes a healthy and comfortable life. It has the ability to cure several diseases from a base that many modern forms of medicine cannot.
The field of Ayurveda believes in blood purification, medical oils, massages, herbs, enemas, laxatives, and herbs. It believes in Panchakarma, Yoga, dietary changes, and acupuncture as well. The practice of Ayurveda is primarily based on the methods of prevention and treatment. It focuses on rejuvenating, regenerating, and regrowth of the body.