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Endometrial Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Summary of Evidence

Separate PDQ summaries on Endometrial Cancer Prevention; Endometrial Cancer Treatment; and Uterine Sarcoma Treatment are also available.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

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Benefits

There is no evidence that screening by ultrasonography (e.g., endovaginal ultrasound or transvaginal ultrasound) reduces mortality from endometrial cancer. Most cases of endometrial cancer (85%) are diagnosed at low stage because of symptoms, and survival rates are high.

Harms

Based on solid evidence, screening asymptomatic women will result in unnecessary additional biopsies because of false-positive test results. Risks associated with false-positive tests include anxiety and complications from biopsies.

  • Study Design: Evidence obtained from cohort studies.
  • Internal Validity: Fair.
  • Consistency: One study for endometrial biopsy and one study for hysteroscopy.
  • Magnitude of Effects on Health Outcomes: Small negative magnitude.
  • External Validity: Fair.

Endometrial Sampling (Biopsy)

Benefits

There is inadequate evidence that screening by endometrial sampling (i.e., biopsy) reduces mortality from endometrial cancer. Most cases of endometrial cancer (85%) are diagnosed at low stage because of symptoms, and survival rates are high.

Harms

Based on solid evidence, endometrial biopsy may result in discomfort, bleeding, infection, and rarely, uterine perforation.

  • Study Design: Evidence obtained from cohort studies.
  • Internal Validity: Fair.
  • Consistency: One study for endometrial biopsy and one study for hysteroscopy.
  • Magnitude of Effects on Health Outcomes: Small negative magnitude.
  • External Validity: Fair.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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