Overview of Stage IV Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer is the cancer type originating from the cells forming the uterine lining. Like any other cancer, the diagnosis of endometrial cancer is also followed by staging of the disease. Staging is done based on the extent of spreading of the cancer. The doctor plans the treatment depending on the stage of cancer the patient is in. Staging of endometrial cancer also helps in determining endometrial cancer prognosis. Endometrial cancer can be diagnosed in any stage starting from stage 0 (the noninvasive endometrial cancer stage) to stage IV (last stage of the cancer). In this article, we’ll be discussing about the features of stage IV endometrial cancer.
Stage IV endometrial cancer is again categorized into 2 substages, stage IVA and stage IVB. In stage IVA, the cancer reaches the bladder or rectum’s inner lining. In this stage, the lymph nodes might get affected by cancer; however, distant organs still stay cancer free. In stage IVB of endometrial cancer, the cancer invades distance organs like lungs, liver, breasts etc. In this stage also, the cancer can affect the patient’s lymph nodes.
Stage IV endometrial cancer is treated using different methods. The most common among them is radiation therapy, which includes both external and internal applications. The patient might also be treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy. During the radiation therapy, high intensity radioactive rays are applied to the affected areas of the patient’s body for killing the cancer cells. During an internal radiotherapy, radioactive pellets get placed on the cancer affected parts directly and removed after a certain period of time. During the external radiotherapy, radioactive waves are applied on the cancerous body parts using a machine. In case of hormone therapy, the patient is suggested to take prescribed dosages of tamixofen, which is an anti-estrogen drug. Progestin, an agent mimicking the effects of the hormone progesterone is also prescribed.