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What Factors Affect Uterine Cancer Survival?

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  • Written By: Donna Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Uterine cancer is a condition in which cancerous cells grow in a woman's uterus. This type of cancer, which occurs only in women, is the most common gynecological cancer diagnosed in the United States. Early detection and treatment is key in fighting this condition. Other factors that may affect uterine cancer survival rates include the presence of other health conditions and the treatment option chosen by the patient.

Most women who develop uterine cancer have already gone through menopause, so they no longer have menstrual periods. Vaginal bleeding in these patients is often a sign of uterine cancer, as is irregular bleeding between cycles in women who have not reached menopause. Other symptoms of this condition include abnormal vaginal discharge and a feeling of pressure or pain in the pelvic area, which may increase during sexual intercourse. Any woman who experiences these symptoms for two weeks or more should contact her doctor right away. By doing so, she increases the possibility of a quick diagnosis and treatment, which in turn improves her chances of uterine cancer survival.

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Like other cancers, uterine cancer develops in stages, with each stage becoming progressively worse and widespread. Uterine cancer survival rates for cases that are diagnosed while in the first stage, during which the disease is confined to the uterus only, range from 90 to 95 percent. Once the cancer begins to spread to the cervix, abdominal lining and lymph nodes, survival rates drop to as low as 15 percent.

Women who have other health conditions such as obesity, diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome may mistake the symptoms of uterine cancer for those caused by their other health problems. In particular, these patients may experience irregular ovulation and therefore irregular menstrual periods as well. If women are accustomed to irregular vaginal bleeding, they may not consider it to be a problem until other symptoms of uterine cancer, particularly pain, begin. By that time, the malignancy may have spread to the point that uterine cancer survival rates are impacted.

A radical, or full, hysterectomy, in which the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and nearby lymph nodes are removed, gives the best chance for uterine cancer survival in most cases. Women with early-stage endometrial cancer, in which only the lining of the uterus is affected, may opt for less aggressive treatment in order to preserve their future fertility. Leaving the reproductive organs in place, however, leaves the patient vulnerable to recurrence of the cancer. For the best uterine cancer survival rates, women who wish to become mothers in the future are typically advised to undergo egg harvesting procedures prior to having a hysterectomy. The harvested eggs can then be stored for future fertilization and reproduction via a surrogate mother.

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