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

Abnormal ultrasound typically requires further investigation including endometrial biopsy (sampling). The evidence is solid that endometrial sampling may result in discomfort, bleeding, infection, and rarely uterine perforation. A study designed to evaluate performance, patient acceptance, and cost-effectiveness of blind biopsy, hysteroscopy with biopsy, and ultrasound, in 683 women with vaginal bleeding, reported that minor events, including discomfort and distress, occurred in 16% of women who had hysteroscopy with biopsy, and in 10% of the women who had a blind biopsy.[1] A group of researchers studied 13,600 diagnostic and operative hysteroscopic procedures and found a lower complication rate among diagnostic procedures (0.13%) compared with operative procedures (0.28%).[2] Risks associated with false-positive test results include anxiety and additional diagnostic testing and surgery. Endometrial cancers may be missed on endometrial sampling and ultrasound.

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  1. Critchley HO, Warner P, Lee AJ, et al.: Evaluation of abnormal uterine bleeding: comparison of three outpatient procedures within cohorts defined by age and menopausal status. Health Technol Assess 8 (34): iii-iv, 1-139, 2004.
  2. Jansen FW, Vredevoogd CB, van Ulzen K, et al.: Complications of hysteroscopy: a prospective, multicenter study. Obstet Gynecol 96 (2): 266-70, 2000.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: September 04, 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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