Uterine Cancer Misdiagnosis

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Uterine cancer is also known by another name: endometrial cancer. The reason it is known as endometrial cancer is because the cancer is found in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. Like all other cancers, it consists of an abnormal growth of cells that have mutated in such a way that they cannot perform the function of a normal uterine wall cell. It is the third most common cause of death from cancers that are dubbed as female cancers. As such, it must be addressed as soon as it is found.

Uterine cancer can usually be alerted by the presence of symptoms early enough that it can be confirmed and cured. Vaginal bleeding, or spotting, is the most commonly reported symptom, and with adenocarcinoma, is as common as occurrence in 67% of all patients. To a lesser extent, vaginal discharge, painful sexual intercourse or difficult or painful urination are also indicators, however, they are also symptoms of much more benign and more common diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important for a reliance on risk factors in combination with symptoms and screening to diagnose the cancer early.

A diagnosis is much easier than most other carcinomas through physical examination and a procedure called dilation and curettage, which removes endometrial tissue through the biopsy procedure. There are three main forms that are considered uterine cancer; endometrioid adenocarcinoma, uterine papillary serous carcinoma, uterine clear cell carcinoma, and other, more rare forms.

Endometrioid adenocarcinoma is the most common type of uterine cancer and consists of cells that have abnormal nuclei and are along the uterine wall. Some of the higher grade forms spread very rapidly, as they don’t appear to be very differentiated from normal cells.

A serous carcinoma is an aggressive one in which the carcinoma is in the myometrium, and often times metastasise into the lymph system. This is one of the more dangerous types, as they can spread outside the uterus without going through the myometrium.

Clear cell carcinoma is similar to serous carcinoma and is more common in postmenopausal women. It grows within all clear cells, inside of the cytoplasm itself, and metastasises quickly, leading to a much worse prognosis then others.

The 5 year survival rates are very dependent on the stage of the progression, with stage 1 at about 80%, stage 2 about 70%, stage 3 about 52%, and stage 4 down to about 15%. The other indicator is the progresterone receptor status, with women with a high progesterone receptor at over 93% survival rate when compared to those with a low receptor status of 36%.

The main form of treatment for this cancer is through surgery, with a hysterectomy and to a lesser extent an oophorectomy and removal of the lymph nodes. In order to prevent metastasis, the patient may undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or both. Hormonal therapy is also usually discussed as an option, but it is becoming less frequent in uterine cancers because evidence is pointing toward the effectiveness is less effective than originally thought.

If you would like legal advice regarding misdiagnosis of uterine cancer or if you have concerns regarding your treatment including complications arising from surgery, contact our free legal advice line or complete the contact form. Should you be eligible for medical negligence compensation, our medical lawyers may provide legal presentation on a No Win No fee contract.

 

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