The endometrium, which constitutes the inner wall of the uterine body, is a tissue that thickens and thins repeatedly at a cycle of about one month during reproductive age and falls off with menstrual blood. Endometrial cancer is a disease in which abnormal cancer cells form in the endometrium. Endometrial cancer accounts for the majority of uterine body cancers, and it is known that most of them have a high incidence rate in their 50s and 60s. Although the exact mechanism of the development of endometrial cancer is not known, it is assumed that abnormal exposure to the female hormone estrogen greatly affects the development. When estrogen accumulates excessively in the body, cell proliferation-promoting action occurs, increasing the probability of the formation of mutant cells that cause cancer. Due to these causes, estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women and estrogen stimulation such as late menopause, early menarche, low fertility, abortion, and female hormone-secreting tumors continue to occur. This is known to grow. In addition, pre-existing factors due to family history such as endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer also affect the occurrence, and obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, immunodeficiency disease, and previous experience with radiation therapy also influence the occurrence. is estimated to be. In the past, endometrial cancer occurred more frequently in the age group after menopause after menopause, but recently, it is reported that the incidence rate is gradually increasing even in the younger age group due to various factors such as westernized eating habits, late marriage, and low fertility. . Now, let’s learn about the various symptoms that appear when endometrial cancer occurs, as well as various information related to treatment and prevention.
Main symptoms of endometrial cancer
The characteristic symptoms of endometrial cancer are abnormal uterine bleeding, vaginal bleeding, and increased vaginal discharge. About 90% of endometrial cancer patients experience symptoms such as excessive menstruation before menopause or abnormal vaginal bleeding before and after menopause. In addition, symptoms such as uterine enlargement due to cancer or metastasis outside the uterus, pelvic tenderness, pain in the lower abdomen, back pain, hematuria, frequent urination, constipation, intestinal obstruction, and rectal bleeding may also occur. And as the cancer progresses, weight loss and general weakness may also appear, and constipation due to severe bleeding may accompany it. If endometrial cancer is detected at an early stage, most can be cured with surgery alone. It is known as a cancer with a relatively good prognosis, with a 5-year survival rate of 95%. However, if treatment is delayed and cancer cells have metastasized to other organs such as the pelvis, lungs, liver, and bones, the survival rate will be low. Cancers such as ovarian cancer are difficult to detect early because they do not show any specific symptoms. Therefore, it is important to visit the hospital as soon as possible to receive an accurate diagnosis and examination if any physical abnormalities such as irregular uterine bleeding or excessive menstruation appear that may suggest cancer progression. In addition, for those in their 50s or older who are at high risk of developing cancer, regular gynecological check-ups are a preventative method for early detection of cancer. Therefore, it can be said that it is very important to receive regular check-ups as essential. In addition, regular check-ups are recommended for postmenopausal women who have received progesterone-free estrogen-only hormone therapy and for polycystic ovary syndrome patients.
Endometrial Cancer Treatment and Prevention
1. Diagnosis and examination
To accurately diagnose endometrial cancer, vaginal ultrasound is performed to accurately observe the shape and thickness of the endometrium, and endometrial biopsy and endometrial endoscopy are performed. After that, depending on the results of the diagnosis, treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy is carried out. The treatment method is applied differently depending on the age, the patient’s general condition, the stage of cancer progression, and the degree of differentiation of cancer cells. Surgical treatment is the most common treatment method and is a treatment that partially or completely removes the tissue surrounding the tumor. Treatment varies depending on the location of the tumor and whether it has spread to other organs. In addition, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy are performed to reduce the size of the tumor and reduce the metastasis of cancer cells. In addition, about 25% of endometrial cancer recurs after surgery, and it is known that complications occur due to factors such as medical diseases and obesity. It’s important.
2. Regular exercise
Obesity is known to be a factor associated with the development of endometrial cancer. Several studies have found that obesity increases the risk of endometrial cancer by 2 to 11 times. Therefore, it is important to exercise regularly for a certain amount of time a day to maintain an appropriate weight. In particular, it is very important to maintain a regular exercise habit, as obesity, sedentary work, and low activity also increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
3. Maintain a healthy diet
Excessive intake of high-calorie, animal-based foods, processed foods, and instant foods can cause overweight, so you need to control your intake, and it is recommended to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. In particular, it can be said that it is very important to maintain a healthy diet because these eating habits are also closely related to diabetes, which is another cause of endometrial cancer.