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MRI Scans May Lead to Early ID of Endometrial Cancer

By HERWriter
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Endometrial Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

According to a Eurekalert! public release from May 3, 2011, use of an MRI can tell whether a woman has endometrial cancer or cervical cancer. An MRI can do this even when a biopsy does not in 79 percent of cases.

This allows proper diagnosis and treatment, increasing the odds of recovery and decreasing the need, in some cases, for surgery.

This research was presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Chicago. The information and the conclusions drawn are in the preliminary stage until the time when it may be published by a peer-reviewed journal.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging scan. This imaging test uses magnets and radio waves to create a pictures of your body. This is not an x-ray since the MRI does not use radiation.

The MRI machine is a tunnel-shaped scanner large enough for your body to slide inside. A scan usually takes half an hour to an hour.

An MRI exam isn't painful. You do need to lie perfectly still so the images are clear. Thumping and humming is part of the test as the pictures are taken.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has reported, in this past year alone, there were more than 43,000 new cases of endometrial cancer in the United States.

Endometrial cancer is the most common types of uterine cancer. It begins in the lining of the uterus (endometrium).

Early onset of menstruation, for instance, before the age of 12, or later than usual onset of menopause increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Apparently, the higher the number of periods, the greater the exposure to estrogen for your uterine lining is a significant factor.

Endometrial cancer is more common among women who have never been pregnant. Even being pregnant only once reduces the risk.

A syndrome called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) may increase risk for endometrial cancer. This condition also increases risk for other cancers such as colon cancer.

HNPCC is passed on genetically, so if a family member has had this, your doctor will want to be aware, and monitor for the syndrome.

Usually endometrial cancer appears after a woman reaches menopause. Other factors may be obesity or the use of menopausal hormone therapy, which is also known as estrogen-alone hormone replacement therapy.

Endometrial cancer may cause pelvic pain and painful sexual intercourse. A woman may experience unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding, and she may have trouble with urination.

Often surgery, called a hysterectomy which removes the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, is the treatment used. Hormone therapy and radiation are also possible treatments. Early detection leading to early treatment may eliminate the cancer completely.


MRI identifies primary endometrial and cervical cancer

MRIs Can Tell Endometrial, Cervical Cancer Apart: Study

Endometrial cancer

Uterine Cancer


Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Hereditary+Non-Polyposis+Colorectal+Cancer

Reviewed August 2, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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