Saturday, January 14, 2006

cancer, uterine

Cancer of the uterus is most likely in postmenopausal women. High-risk patients suffer from obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or a family history of uterine cancer.
Bleeding is the earliest and most common symptom of uterine cancer. At first there may be spotting, especially after intercourse. If untreated, the discharge continues, growing bloody and malodorous. There may be pain and symptoms of pressure on the bladder or bowel.
All vaginal bleeding after menopause should be considered to be cancer and must be investigated. An examination and PAP smear are conducted first and if cancer is suspected, the patient may require a diagnostic dilatation and curettage under anesthesia. Treatment of cancer of the uterus may include a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus), chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, or a combination of any of these.
Women who have been treated for uterine cancer should have regular gynecologic exams because of the possibility of recurrence or metastases. Possible complications include the fatal spread of cancer to the bladder, rectum, and distant organs. Regular PAP smears can detect early uterine cancer. With early diagnosis and treatment, 90 percent of women with this cancer survive at least five years.
See also CANCER, OVARIAN.
Scherer, J. C. Introductory Medical-Surgical Nursing, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1982.
Steinberg, F. U. Care of the Geriatric Patient, 6th ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1983.

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