Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
Exams and Tests
Tests to find cancer
An Reference endometrial biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. A biopsy removes a small sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to be looked at under a microscope.
Other tests may include:
- A Reference transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. This uses sound waves to create images of the uterus. The images can show how thick the endometrium is. A thick endometrium can be a sign of cancer in Reference postmenopausal Opens New Window women. Ultrasound also can help show whether cancer has grown into the uterine muscle.
- A Reference hysteroscopy. This allows your doctor to view the inside of the uterus and get an endometrial tissue sample.
- Reference Dilation and curettage (D&C). This test is done to get a sample of tissue from the inside of the uterus. It may be done at the same time as a hysteroscopy.
Testing for endometrial cancer may show that you have Reference endometrial hyperplasia Opens New Window. This is not cancer but may develop into cancer. One type of hyperplasia, atypical adenomatous hyperplasia, progresses to cancer in about 1 out of 3 women.Reference 1
Tests to see if the cancer has spread
If cancer is found, surgery is done to find out how much the cancer has grown (stage and grade), and to treat it at the same time.
Before surgery, an imaging test may be done to see if cancer has spread to the abdomen and pelvis. This helps with planning for treatment. Imaging tests may include a Reference CT scan or an Reference MRI.
Other tests done before surgery may include:
- A Reference complete blood count (CBC) to check for Reference anemia Opens New Window and other abnormal blood values.
- A Reference cancer antigen (CA) 125 test. This test helps to identify cancer that has or may spread (metastasize).
- An Reference intravenous pyelogram to check kidney function.
- A Reference chest X-ray to check for cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) from the uterus.
There is no routine screening test for endometrial cancer. The American Cancer Society advises women who are nearing menopause to learn about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer.Reference 4
- Women are advised to report to their doctors any unexpected bleeding or spotting or unusual vaginal discharge.
- Women at risk for Reference hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer Opens New Window (HNPCC) are advised to get checked every year starting at age 35.Reference 4 Having an HNPCC risk also means a high risk of getting ovarian and uterine cancer. High-risk women who have no pregnancy plans can avoid these cancers by having the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed.Reference 5
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology