The uterus is a muscular, hollow, pear-shaped organ that is part of the female reproductive system. The uterus is where a baby develops when a woman is pregnant. The bottom of the uterus is called the cervix, which follows to the vagina.
Sometimes cells will change or stop growing and lead to benign conditions like endometriosis, or uterine fibroid which are non-cancerous tumors. Sometimes the cells can develop precancerous conditions. The most common are called endometrial hyperplasia.
Ninety-five percent of uterine cancers are endometrial carcinoma and begin in the endometrium which lines the uterus and is made up of glands. A less common form of uterine cancer is uterine sarcoma which develops in the connective tissues and muscle of the uterus.
Causes & Symptoms of Uterine Cancer
There are several known risk factors for uterine cancer.
Risk factors for Uterine cancer include:
• estrogen replacement therapy
• never having a baby
• POS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
• previous radiation therapy
• Lynch syndrome
• endometrial hyperplasia
Other possible risk factors include:
• family history
• sedentary lifestyle
• high blood pressure
• gallbladder disease
• inherited cancer syndromes
• glycemic load
Factors that do not contribute to uterine cancer include:
• IUDs (intrauterine devices)
Some of the following symptoms can be caused by things other than uterine cancer, so it is important to visit your physician for a proper diagnosis.
Symptoms of uterine cancer include:
• unusual vaginal bleeding
• bleeding after intercourse
• blood tinged, smelly, pus-like vaginal discharge
• pain in the lower pelvis
• pain during intercourse
• painful urination
Who Gets Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer is most common in women aged 45-70 who are post-menopausal. Instances of uterine cancer are more common among caucasian women.
Prognosis if You Have Uterine Cancer
The prognosis for people with uterine cancer can vary depending on several factors including medical history, type of uterine cancer, stage and treatments chosen.
5-Year Survival Rates for endometrioid carcinoma:
• Stage I — 92-99 percent
• Stage II — 80 percent
• Stage III — 60 percent
• Stage IV — 30 percent
5-Year Survival Rates for carcinosarcoma:
• Stage I — 70 percent
• Stage II — 45 percent
• Stage III — 30 percent
• Stage IV — 15 percent
5-Year Survival Rates for leiomyosarcoma:
• Stage I — 60 percent
• Stage II — 35 percent
• Stage III — 28 percent
• Stage IV — 15 percent
5-Year Survival Rates for endometrial stromal sarcoma:
• Stage I – 90 percent
• Stage II- 40 percent
• Stage III- 64 percent
• Stage IV- 37 percent
Conventional medicine’s main types of treatment for uterine Cancer include:
• Radiation therapy
• Hormonal therapy
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research Society, Canadian Cancer Society
How to Prevent Uterine Cancer
Avoiding risk factors is the best way to help prevent uterine cancer. You can also lower your risk by choosing a more healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, staying within a healthy weight range, and adequate physical activity.
Immune System Health
A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. Not only is a weak immune system a major reason patients have cancer — and cancer itself can further weaken the immune system.
Beta glucans help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. In addition, beta glucans stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes) that bind to tumors or viruses and release chemicals to destroy it.
Beta Glucan has been approved in Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer. In fact, helping with cancer is just the beginning with Beta Glucan. There have thousands of studies showing the product can protect against infections, lower your cholesterol, lower blood sugar, reduce stress, increase your antibody production, heal wounds, help radiation burns, overcome mercury-induced immunosuppression (like Thimerosal, used as a preservative in vaccines), help with diabetes, and even naturally prevent metastasisThe spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form a new tumor in other organs or tissues of the body. The new, metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. (or the spreading of your cancer).
Harvard Medical School suggests following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy:
• Don't smoke.
• Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
• Exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Control your blood pressure.
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get adequate sleep.
• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
• Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
More Information: Building the Immune System
Your diet plays a role in a healthy immune system. The top vitamins your immune system needs to perform include:
• Vitamin C — helps to repair and regenerate tissues and aids in the absorption of iron
• Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection
• Vitamin B6 — supports adrenal function and is necessary for key metabolic processes
• Vitamin A — aids immune function and helps provide a barrier against infections
• Vitamin D — modulates cell growth, promotes neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation
• Folate — key in development of red blood cells (a lack of folate can make the body susceptible to cancer)
• Iron — helps your body carry oxygen to cells
• Selenium — slows the body's overactive responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer
• Zinc — slows the immune response and control inflammation in your body