Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. Uterine cancer begins when healthy cells in the uterus change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread. Noncancerous conditions of the uterus include fibroids, which are benign tumors in the muscle of the uterus.
Another noncancerous condition is endometriosis, which describes the condition when endometrial tissue, typically lining the uterine cavity, is on the outside of the uterus or other organs. Endometrial hyperplasia, which is an increased number of cells in the uterine lining, can also happen and can be noncancerous.
There are 2 major types of uterine cancer:
Adenocarcinoma. This makes up more than 80% of uterine cancers. It develops from cells in the endometrium. This cancer is also commonly called endometrial cancer. A common type of endometrial adenocarcinoma is called endometrioid carcinoma, and treatment varies depending on the grade of the tumor, how far it goes into the uterus, and the stage or extent of disease (see Stages and Grades). A less common type is called endometrial serous carcinoma, and this form is treated in a fashion similar to ovarian cancer, which is also commonly of the serous type.
Sarcoma. This type of uterine cancer develops in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands or in the myometrium, which is the uterine muscle. Sarcoma accounts for about 2% to 4% of uterine cancers. Sarcomas are treated differently than adenocarcinomas in most situations. Types of endometrial cancers with some elements of sarcoma include leiomyosarcoma or endometrial stromal sarcoma. Learn more about sarcoma.
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.
The following factors may raise a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer:
- Uterine cancer most often occurs in women over 50; the average age is 60.
- Fatty tissue in women who are overweight produces additional estrogen, a sex hormone which can increase the risk of uterine cancer. This risk increases with an increase in body mass index (BMI; the ratio of a person’s weight and height). About 40% of cases are linked to obesity.
- White women are more likely to develop uterine cancer than black women.
- Uterine cancer may run in families where colon cancer is hereditary. For instance, women in families with Lynch syndrome or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), have a higher risk for uterine cancer. It is recommended that women under the age of 60 with endometrial cancer should have their tumor tested for Lynch Syndrome even if they don’t have a family history of bowel cancer or other cancers. About 2% to 5% of women with endometrial cancer have Lynch Syndrome. In the United States, about 1,000 to 2,500 women diagnosed with endometrial cancer each year may have this genetic condition. Read about Lynch Syndrome.
- Other health conditions.Women may have an increased risk of uterine cancer if they have had endometrial hyperplasia or if they have diabetes.
- Other cancers.Women who have had breast cancer, colon cancer or ovarian cancer may have inherited a genetic mutation (a change) that also causes an increased risk of uterine cancer. Such gene mutations include PTEN, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, and possibly BRCA1/2. Women should discuss the possibility of having a genetic mutation with their doctors and, in some cases, with an expert genetic counselor.
- Women taking the drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex) to prevent or treat breast cancer have an increased risk of developing uterine cancer. However, the benefits of tamoxifen usually outweigh the risk of developing uterine cancer, but all women should discuss the benefits and risks of tamoxifen with their doctor.
- Radiation therapy.Women who have had previous radiation therapy for another cancer in the pelvic area, which is the lower part of the abdomen between the hip bones, have an increased risk of uterine cancer.
- Women who eat foods high in animal fat may have an increased risk of uterine cancer.
- Longer exposure to estrogen and/or an imbalance of estrogen is relevant to many of the following risk factors:
- Women who started having their periods before age 12 and/or go through menopause later in life. Learn more about menopause and cancer risk.
- Women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause, especially if they are only taking estrogen, which is also an important risk factor. The risk is lower for women taking estrogen with another sex hormone called progesterone.
- Women who have never been pregnant.
Women with uterine cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, women with uterine cancer do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be another medical condition that is not cancer.
The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, ranging from a watery and blood-streaked flow to a flow that contains more blood. Vaginal bleeding, during or after menopause, is often a sign of a problem.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge. For premenopausal women, menorrhagia, or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
- Difficulty or pain when urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the pelvic area
The scope of Homeopathy for cancer management varies depending on the type of cancer, stage of cancer and the general health of the patient. Following are some of the aspects of Cancer management with Homeopathy:
- One of the most distressing complaints associated with some varieties of Cancer is the agonizing pain. Conventional medicines can provide pain relief but only to a certain extent and these medicines are not without any side effects. Moreover, there is always a restriction to the dosage that can be safely administered to the patient. The advantage of administering Homeopathic medicines in such cases is that there can be effective pain control without inducing any side effects.
- Homeopathy can help in improving the general well-being and vitality of the patient.
- Conventional treatment options for cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc) are associated with distressing side effects and homeopathy can play a definitive role to counter these side effects.
- The diagnosis of cancer often leaves the patient with a sense of depression, anxiety, and fear. The treatment may induce additional irritability, impatience and mood fluctuations. Homeopathy can influence the psyche of the patient and help him to deal with these emotions in a better way.
- Homeopathic medicines may also have a role to play in controlling the pace at which the disease increases and spread of the disease to other organs.
Homeopathic medicines can also be administered along with the allopathic medicines.