Uterine Cancer Diagnosis
If WellStar physicians are concerned about abnormal uterine bleeding, they might suggest more testing:
- Endometrial biopsy, which involves removing tissue from the uterine lining for laboratory analysis. This may be done in your physician's office and usually doesn't require anesthesia.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C), a common diagnostic procedure used by gynecologists to obtain tissue from the wall of the uterus. During a D&C, the opening of the cervix is gradually stretched. One after the other, a series of increasingly thick rods (dilators) are inserted into the cervical opening. The thickest dilator may be the width of a fountain pen. As an alternative, absorbent dilators can be used to stretch the cervical opening. Scraping (curetting) the lining of the uterus yields tissue, which can then be looked at under the microscope to determine if cancer is present. Rarely, if ever, is curettage used for the treatment of uterine cancer since only a superficial layer of the uterus is removed.
- Transvaginal sonography, which involves an ultrasound apparatus passed through the vagina in order to examine the uterus.
- Sonohysterography, which improves the accuracy of sonography by first infusing salt solution into the uterus through the cervix
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which is useful in determining whether the lymph nodes are involved with cancer and may prevent the need for lymph node dissection.
Uterine Cancer Stages
When uterine cancer is diagnosed, your WellStar physician will categorize it by the current stage. Each stage describes the progression of the disease and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. You should talk to your WellStar physician to understand each stage, and what it means for your treatment plan.