Is thickening of the uterus always cancer?

The lining of the uterus (endometrium) becomes unusually thick because of having too many cells (hyperplasia). It’s not cancer, but in certain women, it raises the risk of developing endometrial cancer, a type of uterine cancer.

What causes the lining of the uterus to thicken?

Estrogen causes the lining to grow and thicken to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. In the middle of the cycle, an egg is released from one of the ovaries (ovulation). Following ovulation, levels of another hormone called progesterone begin to increase.

Is thickening of the uterus normal?

It is completely normal for the lining of your uterus to get thicker or proliferate during the first half of your menstrual cycle. Your ovaries normally produce estrogen and progesterone in response to stimulating hormones from the brain.

What percentage of endometrial hyperplasia is cancer?

Simple atypical hyperplasia turns into cancer in about 8% of cases if it’s not treated. Complex atypical hyperplasia (CAH) has a risk of becoming cancer in up to 29% of cases if it’s not treated, and the risk of having an undetected endometrial cancer is even higher.

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When should I worry about endometrial thickness?

Among postmenopausal women with vaginal bleeding, an endometrial thickness ≤ 5 mm is generally considered normal, while thicknesses > 5 mm are considered abnormal4, 5.

What is the treatment for thickened endometrium?

The most common treatment is progestin. This can be taken in several forms, including pill, shot, vaginal cream, or intrauterine device. Atypical types of endometrial hyperplasia, especially complex, increase your risk of getting cancer. If you have these types, you might consider a hysterectomy.

Should I have a hysterectomy for endometrial hyperplasia?

Women with atypical hyperplasia should undergo a total hysterectomy because of the risk of underlying malignancy or progression to cancer. A laparoscopic approach to total hysterectomy is preferable to an abdominal approach as it is associated with a shorter hospital stay, less postoperative pain and quicker recovery.

What are the symptoms of thick uterine lining?

The most common signs of excessive endometrial thickness include:

  • bleeding after menopause.
  • extremely heavy or long-lasting bleeding during menstruation.
  • irregular menstrual cycles that last less than 3 weeks or longer than 38 days.
  • spotting between periods.

How painful is a uterine biopsy?

It may be painful as the tube is passed through your cervix, and you may feel a cramping pain as the sample is being taken from the lining of the womb. It is exactly the same pain as a period, because the pain is caused by the same muscles of the uterus contracting. So for most women this is familiar and bearable.

How long does it take to get results from an endometrial biopsy?

Your doctor should have the results approximately 7 to 10 days after the biopsy. You may experience some light spotting or bleeding after the procedure, so you’ll be given a menstruation pad to wear.

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What were your first signs of endometrial cancer?

The most likely symptoms are:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, which occurs in nine out of 10 women with endometrial cancer. …
  • Vaginal discharge that may range from pink and watery to thick, brown, and foul smelling.
  • Difficult or painful urination.
  • An enlarged uterus, detectable during a pelvic exam.

How long does it take for endometrial hyperplasia to become cancer?

It appears more likely to return if you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35. Atypical hyperplasia can turn into cancer of the womb. 20 years after diagnosis, around 28 out of every 100 women diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia will develop cancer of the womb.

What happens if your endometrial biopsy is positive?

Biopsy results may show cell changes linked to hormone levels, or abnormal tissues, such as fibroids or polyps. These can lead to abnormal bleeding.