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Uterine Cancer

About the Department

The most common form of cancer that affects a woman’s reproductive system is known as uterine cancer. When healthy cells in the uterus begin to abnormally and uncontrollably grow, it leads to the formation of a mass or a tumour which can be benign or malignant. The cancer cells can penetrate other organs in the body, if the tumour is malignant. However, in the case of a benign tumour, it does not affect the tissues nearby. 

The womb or the uterus is a key component of the reproductive system in a woman. While the uterus is hollow, it forms a muscular, pear shaped structure that accommodates the foetus where it develops into a baby during pregnancy. The cervix is located at the lower portion of the uterus that leads to the vagina. 

The transformation in the cells in the uterus can be in two ways. If the cells no longer expand or behave normally it may lead to a benign tumour. On the other hand, if the change in the cells are abnormal, it can cause precancerous conditions. While the cells are not yet cancerous at this stage, without treatment, they can turn malignant thus leading to uterine cancer. 

At the Department of Uro-oncology at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, emphasises on superior standards of experience coupled with expertise that takes care of every individual patient suffering from uterine cancer. Designing a personalised care plan will include diagnosis, treatment and follow up visits that caters to the needs of the patient. 

In consultation with medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, gynaecologists, pathologists, and diagnostic radiologists, the treatment team will continuously collaborate and communicate at every step of the treatment progression with the patient and their family. During treatment, the patient and his family will also be offered our support services in terms of counselling and guidance that will help the patient in coping with the condition better. 

Uterine cancer treatment in most cases requires some form of surgical intervention. At Fortis, we have a team of highly skilled surgeons who have many years of experience in dealing with complex uterine cancer surgeries. At Fortis, we do not believe in increasing the pain quotient of a patient. Hence, where ever applicable, we use minimally invasive surgical techniques that lets the patient heal and recover much faster. 

When a patient chooses to partner with Fortis Hospitals for their cancer care, they have access to some of the best uterine cancer experts in the city. Fortis, with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, advanced medical technologies and modern therapies for cancer treatment is backed by a leading research team in cancer care. 

Areas of Care

Fortis Hospitals at Bannerghatta Road has experts who are adept at dealing with all types of uterine cancer including:

- Endometrial carcinoma

  • Mucinous adenocarcinoma
  • Serous adenocarcinoma (papillary serous carcinoma)
  • Clear cell adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Small cell carcinoma
  • Undifferentiated carcinoma

- Endometrioid carcinoma

  • Villoglandular
  • Secretory
  • Ciliated cell

- Carcinosarcoma

- Uterine sarcoma

  • Uterine leiomyosarcoma
  • Endometrial stromal sarcoma

- Gestational trophoblastic disease

At Fortis, we are there to help patients who have been diagnosed with uterine cancer with the best possible treatment by a nationally recognised team of cancer experts. Our patient care not only focusses on treatment alone, but it equally emphasises on the importance of compassionate and individualised patient care.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Cancers

Most of the time uterine cancer develops in a woman post menopause. However, there are possibilities that it can start around the time that menopause begins too. Some common symptoms of uterine cancer are: 

- If you experience abnormal vaginal bleeding including a change in your menstruation such as heavy bleeding during periods that lasts longer than expected, there are shorter gaps between two consecutive menstrual cycles and if you notice bleeding in between menstrual cycles

- If you notice spotting or bleeding, post menopause

Other symptoms of uterine cancer include:

- If you notice an unusual vaginal discharge that is pus-like or blood-tinged, having a foul smell
- If you experience pain during intercourse
- If you feel a pressure or pain in your pelvic region
- If you experience a feeling of pressure or pain in the pelvis area, lower potion of the stomach, your back or legs
- If you experience pain during urination or have difficulty in passing urine
- If you see blood stains with your urine
- If your bowel movements become difficult and painful
- If you observe blood stains in your stool
- If you see bleeding from your rectum or bladder
- If you feel that there is fluid building up in your stomach or legs
- If you experience a sudden loss in weight
- If you notice a loss in your appetite
- If you have difficulty in breathing

If you are experience one of more of these symptoms and are concerned, then it is best to speak with your healthcare provider at the earliest. Discussing the length and severity of your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a specialist, if he suspects uterine cancer.

Our Diagnostic Services

The process of diagnosing uterine cancer begins with a consultation with your specialist at Fortis Hospitals. During the first consultation, the specialist with discuss your symptoms, and prescribe some diagnostic tests to rule out any other disorders.

The common diagnostic tests recommended for uterine cancer are:

- Health History and Physical Examination:

During the discussion, your specialist will enquire about medical history, any hereditary family conditions and symptoms that you are currently experiencing that points towards uterine cancer. He will also check your blood pressure, weight, listen to your chest, feel your stomach for an enlarged liver, lumps or building of fluid, do a thorough examination of the pelvic and rectal region and check for swollen lymph nodes in the groin and above the collarbone region. 

- Complete Blood Count or CBC:

This test measures the count and quality of red, white blood cells and platelets. It also checks if you are anaemic and signs of vaginal bleeding. 

- Transvaginal Ultrasound:

Using high frequency sound waves, it takes images of various structures inside the body to find out the thickness of the endometrium, check for mass formation in the uterus, examine any cancer cells developing into the uterus’ muscle layer and lastly check if the cancerous cells have infiltrated any other organs in the body. 

- Biopsy:

A sample tissue or cells are collected from the area of the body where cancer cells may be growing. It is then later evaluated under the microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells. 

- Endometrial Biopsy:

This test removes the sample from the inner lining of the uterus and then checked for cancer cells later in the laboratory. 

- Dilation and Curettage (D&C):

During this procedure, the cervix is dilated so that a spoon shaped tool that has a sharp edge known as the curettage can be inserted into the uterus. It assists on removing cells, tissues or growth from the endometrium.

- Endoscopy:

With the help of an instrument called the endoscope, the specialist can view the body’s inner cavity during this diagnostic test.

- Hysteroscopy:

This screening is recommended if you are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding as it can check for changes inside of the uterus. 

- Blood Chemistry Test:

This screening measures specific chemicals in the blood, functionality of particular organs and detect any abnormalities. It can also check at which stage the uterine cancer has progressed through the following tests:

  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase

- Tumour Marker Tests:

This screening can examine a patient’s response to ongoing cancer treatment and diagnose uterine cancer by using tumour markers that can search for substances traced in the blood, tissues or fluids removed from the body. If the tumour markers come back with abnormal amounts, it is a possible indicator for uterine cancer. 

- Cancer Antigen or CA 125: 

By measuring cancer antigen, outcomes with higher amounts can point towards an advanced stage of uterine cancer. 

- Imagine Tests:

A number of imaging tests can check for uterine cancer and if the cancer has spread to other organs in the body too. These screenings include:

  • Barium Enema
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan

If the cancer has penetrated in to other parts in the body, following tests will be recommended by your specialist:

- Transvaginal Ultrasound
- Cystoscopy
- Proctoscopy
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase
- Imagine Tests:

  • Barium Enema
  • Chest x-ray

The diagnostic screenings and tests can be a long and frustrating process. As a patient, it is normal to be concerned. As soon as the diagnostics are done, your need to visit your specialist with the results. If the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed, additional testing may be recommended to stage and grade the uterine cancer and treatments depending on same will follow soon. 

Treatment Options

At Fortis, we believe in a team approach that combines the strength of our in-house oncologists with diagnostics and treatment of uterine cancer. We have had tremendous success in surgical therapy for women with advanced stage or recurrent uterine cancer. 

Most conventional forms of uterine cancer treatment will include one or a combination of therapies including:

- Surgical Therapy helps to remove the tumour and also collect healthy tissue samples from its surroundings organs. Some of the common surgical procedures used in uterine cancer are: 

  • Hysterectomy
  • Lymphadenectomy

- Radiation Therapy uses high energy particles or x-ray beams that destroys or kills the cancerous cells in the body. Common forms of radiation therapy can be external or internal. 

- Chemotherapy treats cancer by using medications that are injected into the body through an IV. It can kill and inhibit the growth and division of the cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy can be given to the patient post-surgery or in combination with radiation therapy.

- Hormone Therapy is generally used to reduce the expansion of specific types of uterine cancer that are sensitive to hormone receptors on them. Hormone therapy can be given in a pill form that involves high dosage progesterone which is a sex hormone. 

At Fortis Hospitals, we aim to deliver the highest standards of quality medical care. Along with conventional forms of cancer treatment, we realise the significance of the emotional and psychological impacts of living with a cancer diagnosis. Dealing with cancer treatment can be very hard for you and your family. Through our trained support groups, we will hand-hold and guide your through this overwhelming process of cancer treatment so that you can concentrate your energies towards your recovery. 

Our Team That Cares

At Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, our team of specialists consult and carefully deliberate over all available uterine cancer treatment routes that will best suit your current health condition. We have the access to the most advanced medical therapies that will have the least impact on your body. By drawing from our wide range of resources through surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, we offer the newest and the most effective forms of uterine cancer treatments. 

We are committed towards helping women who have been diagnosed with uterine cancer and aim to bring them back to a healthy and normal life.