- Incidence of endometrial cancer has increased in the past years
- It is an obesity-induced cancer
- Irregular bleeding patterns and PCOS are its risk factors
Sedentary lifestyle is playing a major role in affecting people's health. Lack of exercise and poor diet regime with lots of unhealthy fats and carbs contribute to weight gain and obesity - which have become one of the major causes of lifestyle-related cancers. Endometrial cancer is a lifestyle-related cancer, the incidence of which has increased tremendously in the past 10 years. In order to address rising incidence of lifestyle and obesity-induced cancers such as endometrial cancer, a group of senior specialists came together to talk about its various causes and risk factors.
The panel discussion, held at Max Institute of Cancer Care in Lajpat Nagar, included some of the top specialists in surgical and gynaecology oncology like Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Dr PK Julka, Dr Amish Chaudhary and Dr Kanika Batra.
According to Dr Julka, incidence of endometrial cancer has risen from 2.8 per 100,000 people to 6.7 per 100,000 people in the past 10 years.
What is endometrial cancer?
Endometrial cancer is a kind of cancer which begins in the uterus. Dr Amish says that it occurs when there is a tumor in uterus. Endometrial cancer is also known as uterine cancer.
Endometrial cancer is most likely to occur in post-menopausal or perimenopausal age among obese women, whose Body Mass Index is more than 30. The most common symptom of endometrial cancer, says Dr Amish, is bleeding after menopause.
Risks of endometrial cancer are high in people who are obese or are suffering from metabolic disorders like hypertension.
"The trend of lifestyle-related cancers has increased lately. A cancer like endometrial cancer is basically caused because of estrogenic stimulation in the body. Estrogenic stimulation occurs because of excessive estrogen in the body," Dr Julka adds.
Excessive estrogen in the body occurs because of excessive fat in the body- which is basically a result of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. Hormonal imbalance is thus another risk factor of endometrial cancer.
Other risk factors of endometrial cancer are an early menarche or early menopause. Obesity remains to be the major cause of endometrial cancer.
On being asked if there is any other symptom of this cancer apart from post-menopausal bleeding, Dr Kanika says that this is the most commonly occurring symptom.
"Endometrial cancer does not usually occur at a young age. Women at perimenopause age - which begins several years before menopause - are also at slight risk. Characteristics which may signal endometrial cancer are heavy bleeding, intermenstrual bleeding and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)," explains Dr Kanika.
Here, it has to be noted that irregular bleeding patterns or PCOS may increase risk of endometrial cancer, but do not affirm that they will lead to endometrial cancer.
Types of endometrial cancer
Endometrial cancer is essentially of 2 types - the one which is associated with obesity and the other which is associated with genetic mutation. Obesity-associated endometrial cancer makes up for 80% of the cases. Genetic mutation-associated endometrial cancer is more aggressive and occurs in patients of kidney diseases.
Surgical treatment of endometrial cancer
Coming over to treatment of endometrial cancer, the doctors seem quite positive about the surgical treatment, which involves removal or ovaries and uterus.
Diagnosis of endometrial cancer is usually done at first stage. Post-menopausal bleeding is a symptom which women get instantly checked and that is why prognosis of endometrial cancer in the first stage is possible.
"Surgery is the most common treatment of endometrial cancer. It involves removal of uterus and ovaries and has a very good survival rate," says Dr Amish.
The doctors concluded the discussion by adding that treatment of endometrial cancer is such that it involves less blood loss, less post-operative pain and good recovery in patients.
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