Malignant disease of the uterus

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Introductory image

Endometrial cancer is considered to be relatively less aggressive when compared with other gynaecological malignancies. Many women will have been treated effectively with a simple hysterectomy and bilateral oopherectomy in a non-cancer-centre setting, and may have falsely regarded this cancer as fairly benign. However, stage for stage, survival is comparable to other gynaecological malignancies.

Patients have tended to do better because it is possible to detect the disease at an earlier stage (because of postmenopausal bleeding). Several controversies still remain in this field, and the roles of lymphadenectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy still remain to be defined. Practitioners must continue to be vigilant in identifying this very treatable cancer.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • identify women with risk factors for endometrial cancer
  • recall the relative risk of endometrial cancer
  • recognise the various methods of investigating postmenopausal bleeding
  • relate the value of staging and the treatment modalities for the various stages
  • describe the different types of premalignant and malignant uterine pathology.

Last updated June 2016.