Screening for Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
Screening is a way to evaluate people without symptoms to determine if they are at risk for cancer or have already developed cancer.
- Assessing your medical history and lifestyle habits for anything that may increase or decrease your risk of uterine cancer
- Tests to identify early signs of uterine cancer
There are no routine universal screening tests for uterine cancer.
Patients with high risk for endometrial cancer or atypical hyperplasia may be screened. Screening is recommended only for women with certain risk factors, such as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, a rare familial syndrome in which multiple family members often develop bowel tumors and other tumors. These women should be followed closely by a doctor or team of doctors with expertise in cancer genetics. For a period of years, screening was recommended for all patients taking tamoxifen, but the current recommendation is not to screen, but to test if uterine bleeding occurs.
If you have symptoms such as vaginal bleeding after you go through
In the laboratory, the pathologist will examine the sample for cancer cells, a procedure that usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
Transvaginal ultrasonography—Also not routinely used as a screening test, this ultrasonography is a way of taking a picture of the uterus using echoes from sound waves. The endometrial layer inside the uterus can be seen and measured. Excessive thickness may be an indication for further testing. This test is often used if you are experiencing problems like abnormal vaginal bleeding.
American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ .
Bast R, Kufe D, Pollock R, et al, eds. Cancer Medicine. 5th ed. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker Inc; 2000.
National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/ .
Rakel R. Bope E, ed. Conn's Current Therapy. 54th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2002: 1094-1096.
Last reviewed April 2009 by
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