Finding and diagnosing the presence of uterine cancer–meaning any cancer that begins within the uterus–isn’t an easy task; there are many different ways to diagnose the disease. diagnosed.
If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from uterine cancer based on symptoms you’re experiencing or other symptoms (say the normal discharge or swelling of your stomach) then the path to diagnosis starts. Based on a myriad of factors, such as symptoms and signs as well as general health, your doctor could conduct a variety of tests or procedures, as per the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
What’s involved in the detection of uterine cancer and treatment.
The diagnosis of Uterine Cancer typically begins with a physical examination, Ursula Matulonis, MD, head of the department of gynecologic cancer in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, tells Health. The goal of this test is to allow the doctor to gather a general picture of your health and also detect signs of illness such as unusual lumps.
Your doctor may also likely inquire about your medical background of you, which includes the illnesses and treatments you’ve experienced previously, as well as your current health habits, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The physical exam usually involves a pelvic examination as well, which is essentially an examination of the vaginaand cervix the fallopian tubes, uterus Ovaries, and rectum states NCI.
An obstetrician or other medical professional will perform the examination, according to the American College of Obstetricians. This involves putting one or two fingers that are gloved in your vagina and putting the other hand on your stomach. Your doctor may also place a gloved-and-lubricated finger inside your rectum to check for lumps or other odd growths.
A Pap test can be part of pelvic exams too.
Also known as also a Pap test is the process of taking a sample of cells from your vagina or cervix and then examining the cells under a microscope to check if they’re regular or otherwise.
Important note: Doctors do not make use of Pap tests to detect cancer in the uterus, says NCI. NCI. However, occasionally, the results of a Pap test may detect abnormalities in the tissue that line the uterus. In that, the doctor might order additional tests to determine whether the abnormalities could be the result of uterine cancer.
A Uterine biopsy is an easy and simple procedure in the office that can usually provide you with an accurate answer as to whether you’re suffering from cancer or not. Pamela Soliman, MD who is a professor and vice director of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center she tells that to Health.
This is why a biopsy is considered to be the “gold standard” for uterine cancer detection, says Alison Schram, MD, attending physician for the development of early drugs and gynecologic medical Oncology services in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
The way it works is as follows Doctors use an instrument called a speculum, which allows them to open the vagina and examine the uterus’s opening. A small straw of plastic placed inside the uterus was used to collect samples of cells as per the doctor Dr. Soliman. For the moment this procedure can trigger menstrual cramps. However, the cramps usually stop after the procedure is completed as “most people feel fine afterward. After that, the test is taken to a laboratory in which the cells are studied under a microscope to determine.
In this process, it is performed using a light-sensitive, thin instrument (called the hyperscope) that is inserted through the cervix and vagina and then into the uterus according to the NCI. A camera at the end of the scope lets the doctor examine the uterus. The doctor could also collect the tissue sample (aka biopsy) to analyze under a microscope according to the MSKCC.
Curttage and dilatation
A biopsy may not be in a position to answer the question of whether you are suffering from cancer, whether because it failed to take enough cells, or the results weren’t conclusive as stated by the American Cancer Society (ACS). If this happens your doctor might suggest dilation or curettage. Also called D&C This procedure involves dilation of the cervix before inserting the curette (spoon-shaped instrument) into the uterus in order to remove the tissue, according to the NCI. The tissues are examined under a microscope for evidence of cancer.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of your reproductive organs, says ACS. In the case of uterine cancer, doctors may use a specific type known as a transvaginal ultrasound to examine the vagina says the NCI. A probe placed put inside the vagina allows the doctor to see what your surrounding tissues and organs look like.