Diagnosis for Uterine Cancer

  • Once the signs and symptoms pertaining to uterine or endometric cancer have been observed, the doctor will perform some tests which will help in the diagnosis as well as determine the appropriate treatment.
  • One of the tests for diagnosis of uterine cancer is a conducting a sampling of the endometrial tissue to check if the cancer is present. This sample tissue is then observed under the microscope by the doctor. The sample of the endometrial tissue may be taken by curettage or by dilation and this may be done with or even without a hysterectomy. In a hysterectomy, the doctor will insert a small telescope via the cervix into the uterus. Prior to this the uterus is filled with salt water as this will enable the doctor to get a better view. The hysterectomy allows the doctor to check for any abnormalities in the uterus such as a polyp or a cancer.
  • Once the endometrial tissue is obtained and the uterine cancer is confirmed then it is graded on the basis of how much similar the cancer is to the endometrium. A grade 1 uterine cancer is one wherein 95% or even more of the cancer tends to form glands that that are very similar to the regular endometrial tissue. Similarly a grade 2 cancer is one wherein 50% to 94% of the cancer tumor tends to have gland formation. Finally a grade 3 uterine cancer is one wherein there are less than 50% chances of the cancer tumor forming glands.
  • Similarly one of the imaging tests for uterine cancer is a sonography or a transvaginal ultrasound which enable the doctor to observe if the cancer is growing into the muscle layer of the uterus or if the endometrium is thicker than usual.
  • A cystoscopy may also be performed if the cancer has spread to the rectum or the bladder. This imaging test for uterine cancer is conducted by placing a tube into the bladder via the urethra.
  • A doctor may also perform a CT scan wherein the CT scanner will take cross sectional x-ray pictures of the body. CT scans will not help the doctor to confirm the presence of uterine cancer however it will help the doctor to check if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Blood tests also form part of the diagnosis of uterine cancer wherein a complete blood count will be done to measure the various cells that are typically present in the blood such as platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. These tests will help in determining uterine cancer because on account of the blood loss caused by the cancer, the count of red blood cells will be low.
  • Additionally, the doctor may also conduct a CA 125 blood test which is a substance that tends to get released into the blood by uterine cancer. If the levels of CA 125 in the blood are very high then it may be an indication of the cancer having spread to other parts of the body as well.

Frequently asked questions
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