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When to Seek Medical Care

Women vary considerably in the amount, duration, and frequency of their menstrual periods . A woman should be aware of any abnormal bleeding  that is abnormal for her. If a woman's periods become much heavier or more frequent, or if a woman is having more than slight spotting between periods, she should talk to a health care provider. Changes in bleeding or abnormal bleeding can have many different causes. Knowing the cause of a woman's bleeding is important.


After therapy has been completed, the woman undergoes testing to determine how effective the treatment has been. If the CA 125 (tumor marker) level was high at the time of diagnosis, this level will be checked again to see whether it returned to a normal level after treatment. A woman may also undergo other blood tests and imaging tests that provide clues to disease recurrence. A doctor requires a woman to be tested and examined regularly so that disease recurrence (if it happens) can be found early. The doctor will discuss a schedule for these follow-up visits with the woman and her family members.


The best way to avoid endometrial carcinoma is to avoid the risk factors. To avoid risk factors, a woman should take the following steps:

  i. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a moderate, nutrition-rich diet and exercising regularly.

  ii. Consider taking birth control pills if warranted by her situation and medical condition.

  iii. Avoid treatment with unopposed estrogens.

Some risk factors cannot be avoided. For example, neither a previous cancer of the breast, colon, or ovaries nor a family history of these cancers can be avoided. Early puberty and late menopause  are part of a person's genetic makeup and cannot be changed. Being vigilant to catch endometrial and other genital cancers early is something that can be controlled. A woman should not be afraid or ashamed to go to her health care provider about abnormal bleeding or other unusual symptoms involving her genital tract. Putting off seeing a health care provider prevents early diagnosis and treatment that, in turn, could prevent serious complications or even death


As in all cancers, the stage of the disease is the most important factor in determining a person's outlook (prognosis). Generally, the lower the stage (that is, the more local the cancer), the better the outlook. The pathologist's findings also affect the prognosis. After a woman's staging surgery, her doctor will discuss the specifics of the cancer with her. Fortunately, most women who have endometrial cancer are cured.


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