There are only a few people who have heard about uterine sarcoma because it is a rare kind of cancer that affects the uterus or the connected tissues.
Sarcoma is a kind of cancer that affects the soft tissue or the connective tissue including the bone, fat, cartilage, blood vessels and muscle.
Symptoms of uterine cancer
The most common symptoms of this kind of cancer include vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, pain in the pelvic region, bleeding after sexual intercourse, a feeling of fullness, abnormal bleeding after menopause, dyspareunia, abdominal pain, vaginal mass and frequent urination. Nonetheless uterine cancer could be asymptomatic at the early stages.
At the moment there are only a few risk factors known to change the chances of people of being affected by this kind of cancer.
Pelvic radiation therapy as a risk factor of uterine sarcoma
Some of the cancers are treated by ionizing radiation, and this could change the DNA of the cells. As a result in some cases the chances of contracting another kind of cancer increase.
In case you had this kind of radiation, you chances of being affected by uterine cancer increase. In the majority of the cases such cancers are diagnosed 5-25 years after radiation.
This kind of cancer is twice more common in case of the African-American women than in case of Asian or white women. The reason for this is yet unknown.
Uterine sarcoma prevention
The truth is that this kind of cancer cannot be prevented. As it has been mentioned before, there are some risk factors that increase the occurrence of the cancer, but even in case these risk factors are present, it’s not certain that you will be affected by the cancer.
In case you see the signs and symptoms of uterine cancer, you should tell your doctor about them. Nonetheless the sad truth is that in the majority of the cases the symptoms appear when the cancer is already at an advanced stage.
Screening tests and uterine sarcoma
Although in case of the majority of the cancers there are some screening tests meant to find the cancerous cells, in case of the asymptomatic patients there is no screening test. Sometimes the Pap smear could find the cancer, but it isn’t 100% accurate regarding this cancer.
Diagnosing uterine cancer
The presence of the cancer is usually suggested by symptoms. Nonetheless, in the majority of the cases these symptoms are caused by a less serious condition.
Staging is based on how far the cancer is spread. This is the most important factor to determine the treatment method. Basically there are three main factors: the extent of the cancer, whether it has affected the lymph nodes and whether it has spread to great distances.
In case of uterine sarcoma in the majority of the cases the doctors remove a piece of tissue to analyze it. This is known as surgical staging, and the doctors don’t know exactly the stage of cancer until the procedure is done.