Frequently asked questions about Endometrial Cancer

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Who is affected by endometrial cancer?

Endometrial cancer affects women mostly over 50 years of age. It is more common after menopause. The average age of diagnosis is 63 years. 

Are there risk factors for the development of endometrial cancer?

There are certain factors that increase the risk of endometrial cancer, such as metabolic syndrome: obesity, diabetes and hypertension. There is also a greater risk when the body is subjected to an increase in oestrogen, either due to other diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome or physiological situations such as having menstruation at an early age, menopause at a late age or an absence of pregnancies.  

Is it a hereditary cancer?

2-5% of currently diagnosed endometrial cancers are hereditary. 

Are there screening programmes to detect endometrial cancer early?

There are currently no efficient and agreed population screening strategies for endometrial cancer, except in those women at high risk; for example, those with Lynch syndrome. In these cases, an annual gynaecological examination is recommended, with endometrial biopsy and transvaginal ultrasound from the age of 35; while the option of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and/or the ovaries) is evaluated from the age of 40, once the wishes of having children have been fulfilled. 

Can it be prevented?

At the moment, there are no efficient strategies for this; although it is known that not being obese, or not having diabetes or hypertension greatly reduces the risk. Doing physical exercise has been shown to reduce the appearance of endometrial cancer, and reduces the risk of new cancer appearance in those patients already diagnosed and treated.  

What are the signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer?

Abnormal genital bleeding is observed in 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer, especially associated with risk factors. Abnormal vaginal discharge, purulent discharge from the genitals or infection in the uterus in advanced ages are observed; as well as abnormal or very abundant menstruation in perimenopause, although to a lesser extent.  

How is it diagnosed?

The most frequent diagnosis is after a gynaecological examination together with an endometrial biopsy with gynaecological ultrasound

What follow-up is required once the treatment is finished?

Once the treatment is over, the medical professionals will propose a series of follow-up actions to look for early stages of possible recurrence. Possible complications that may appear as a result of the treatment will also be evaluated.  

Women with breast cancer usually have follow-up visits every 3-4 months for the first 2 years and then every 6 months for up to 5 years. 

Are there associations of patients affected by endometrial cancer?

Currently, there are no associations dealing exclusively with endometrial cancer, but there are gynaecological cancer associations that include other types of cancer, such as ovarian, cervical and even breast and gynaecological cancer

Substantiated information by:

Ana Carrión Aliaga
Ariel Glickman
Aureli Torné Bladé
Berta Diaz-Feijoo
Lydia Gaba

Published: 9 March 2022
Updated: 9 March 2022

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