Endometrium is soft and spongy tissue that surrounds the uterus. The thickness and consistency of Endometrium depend on the changes in the menstrual cycle.
When the endometrium cells transform and start growing and multiplying out of control the endometrical cancer occurs. When the cells amass together they form a tumour. Cancer attacks the space, oxygen and nutrients that healthy cells use to function which make it very dangerous.
Endometrial adenocarcinomas and uterine sarcomas are two types of endometrial cancer. Most common endometrial adenocarcinomas originate from secreting tissue. The other less common uterine sarcomas cancer comes from the muscle or connective uterus tissue.
Women affected by endometrial cancer are of reproductive age and older are. Most cases are diagnosed in women in their 50s and 60s. This is the fourth most common cancer on women in the US.
2 systems are used in staging the endometrial cancer. These are AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) and FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics). Both systems are similar and use TNM staging technique. TNM is diagnosis is based on 3 steps. These are the extent of the tumour (T), the probability of cancer spreading to lymph nodes (N) and chances of cancer spreading to distant organs.
Endometrial cancer stage is determined by surgical staging. This includes an operation of removing the tissue so it could be examined. In most cases the doctors are able to be certain of cancer's stage after surgery. The basic stages of endometrial cancer are classified from I to IV. Some stages can be divided even further.
MRI, CT scan of ultrasound may be performed prior to the surgery. These tests can indicate the spread of cancer. These tests are not as sufficient as surgery, but they can help in planning the surgery and other treatments.
The primary goal of the staging system is to estimate the spread of cancer. The spread can be local, affecting the other parts of the uterus or regional and spread to nearby lymph nodes (these are bean sized organs that are part of the immune system). The Lymph nodes in the uterus region are located in the pelvis and along the abdominal aorta that runs from pelvis all the way to the heart. The lymph nodes that are spread along the aorta are named para-aorta nodes. The cancer can also metastasize to distant lymph nodes and organs that include bone, liver, lungs, brain and so on.
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