By Darci Picoult
It began with a bump. The size of a pinhead. Innocuous. An innocuous little pinhead of a bump on my vulva. Given that my gynecologist said the bump was probably nothing, I laughed it off. Which, in turn, made my bump mad. Very mad. It wanted my attention. And so it grew. I smeared it in medicine. It grew more. More medicine. More growth. Hanukkah came. Then Christmas. A war raged between us. I went to battle in the middle of the night with salt baths and creams. Prayed for its departure...
transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. This uses sound waves
to create images of the uterus. The images can show how thick the endometrium
is. A thick endometrium can be a sign of cancer in
postmenopausal women. Ultrasound also can help show
whether cancer has grown into the uterine muscle.
hysteroscopy. This allows your doctor to view the
inside of the uterus and get an endometrial tissue sample.
Dilation and curettage (D&C). This test is done to
get a sample of tissue from the inside of the uterus. It may be
done at the same time as a hysteroscopy.
Testing for endometrial cancer may show that you have
endometrial hyperplasia. This is not cancer but may
develop into cancer. One type of hyperplasia, atypical adenomatous hyperplasia,
progresses to cancer in about 1 out of 3 women.2
Tests to see if the cancer has spread
If cancer is found, surgery is done to find out how much the cancer has grown (stage and grade) and to treat it at the same time.
Before surgery, an imaging test may be done to see if cancer has spread to the abdomen and pelvis. This helps with
planning for treatment. Imaging tests may include a CT scan or an MRI.
chest X-ray to check for cancer cells that have
spread (metastasized) from the uterus.
There is no routine screening test for endometrial cancer. The American Cancer Society advises women who are nearing menopause to learn
about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer.3
Women are advised to report to their doctors
any unexpected bleeding or spotting or unusual vaginal
Women at risk for
Lynch syndrome are
advised to get checked every year starting at age 35. Having this risk also means a high risk of getting ovarian and/or
High-risk women who have no pregnancy plans can avoid these
cancers by having the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed.4
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 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