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Uterine Cancer

What is the uterus?

The uterus, also called the womb, is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman’s lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum.

How is uterine cancer diagnosed?

When symptoms suggest uterine cancer, the following may be used to make a positive diagnosis:

•    a detailed medical history – family and personal
•    a thorough physical exam
•    pelvic examination of the uterus, vagina, ovaries, bladder, and rectum (may include a Pap test)
•    biopsy – removal of sample of tissue via a hollow needle or scalpel
•    dilation and curettage (D & C) – a minor operation in which the cervix is dilated (expanded) so that the cervical canal and uterine lining can be scraped with a curette (spoon-shaped instrument)
When cancer cells are found, other tests are used to determine if the disease has spread from the uterus to other parts of the body. These procedures may include:

•    blood tests
•    chest x-rays
•    computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans of various sections of the abdomen
•    an ultrasound to view organs inside the body
•    special exams of the bladder, colon, and rectum

Treatment for uterine cancer:

Specific treatment for uterine cancer will be determined by your physician based on:

•    your overall health and medical history
•    extent of the disease
•    your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
•    expectations for the course of the disease
•    your opinion or preference