Endometrial cancer is the most common form of gynecological cancer in the United States, with 48,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
There are two primary types of endometrial cancer, type 1 and type 2, both of which affect the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium. The main symptoms of endometrial cancer are abnormal menstrual bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.
Often, the disease is asymptomatic until it reaches a later, more advanced stage, thus emphasizing the importance of women seeking medical care when they first have symptoms.
Other symptoms can be more like those of ovarian cancer, such as bloating, pelvic pain, bleeding after intercourse, swollen abdomen and/or change in bowel or bladder habits.
Risk factors for uterine cancer include family history of breast, colon or uterine cancers, age (more common in postmenopausal women), high blood pressure and/or diabetes, and obesity.
Fortunately, endometrial cancer is usually highly treatable and curable if caught in the early stages, surgery is often all that is needed to treat the disease.
This surgery typically includes a hysterectomy; however, for women who have not completed child bearing, there are often fertility sparing options for treatment.
In addition, your physicians may also recommend chemotherapy and radiation depending on the stage of your cancer.
Cone Health’s partnership with board certified gynecologic oncologists from UNC Chapel Hill allows women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers to receive exceptional care and cancer treatment right here in the community—close to work, home and their support networks.
Dr. Paola Gehrig is a gynecologic oncologist at Cone Health Cancer Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Gehrig completed her medical school training at the University of Florida and her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia.
In 2000, after finishing her fellowship in gynecologic oncology at UNC Chapel Hill, she stayed on as a faculty member in the department.