Treatment For Rare Form of Endometrial Cancer Can Be Complex
Andrea Mariani, M.D.
DEAR MAYO CLINIC:
My mother was just diagnosed with an aggressive form of uterine cancer (uterine papillary serous carcinoma). What can you tell me about this disease?
Uterine papillary serous carcinoma is a rare form of endometrial cancer. It usually spreads more quickly and is more difficult to detect early than other more common forms of endometrial cancer. Various treatment options are available. But because this is an uncommon and aggressive form of cancer, it's important for your mother to be evaluated at a medical center where physicians have expertise and experience in treating uterine papillary serous carcinoma.
Endometrial cancer -- one of the most common cancers in American women -- begins in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It most often affects postmenopausal women, and its main symptom is postmenopausal bleeding. Other symptoms may include pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and unintended weight loss.
Two broad categories of endometrial cancer exist. Type 1 grows more slowly and often can be detected and effectively treated in its early stages. Type 2 spreads more quickly. By the time symptoms appear, type 2 endometrial cancer has often spread beyond the uterine lining into surrounding tissue and organs. Uterine papillary serous carcinoma falls into the type 2 category.
Treatment for uterine papillary serous carcinoma generally involves surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Most often, surgery includes removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), fallopian tubes and ovaries, as well as any other cancer that may be visible in the abdomen during surgery. The surgeon will also remove lymph nodes in the affected area. The lymph nodes will be examined in a laboratory following surgery to help determine how far the cancer has spread.
Decisions about an individual's need for radiation and chemotherapy are made based on the surgical findings. Many women who have uterine papillary serous carcinoma require both. Although hormone therapy may be used to treat type 1 endometrial cancer, hormone therapy is not effective in the treatment of uterine papillary serous carcinoma because it is not hormone sensitive.
Uterine papillary serous carcinoma is a serious and often life-threatening disease, and its treatment can be complex. It's important for people like your mother who have this disease to be cared for by a team of specialists that is familiar with this form of cancer and that has experience diagnosing and treating it.
Ideally, your mother's treatment team would involve collaboration among a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and a gynecologic surgeon. I strongly recommend that, prior to having surgery, she seek care at a medical center where all of these specialists are available and can easily consult with one another, so that her care can be quickly and effectively coordinated. This type of care is most commonly available at large academic medical centers such as the
An added benefit of seeking care at an academic medical center is that patients often have access to clinical research trials. Participating in a clinical trial may allow your mother to take advantage of new and emerging treatment options that might not be available at other places.
The prognosis for women with uterine papillary serous carcinoma can be discouraging. Working with a skilled team of experienced specialists will give your mother the best chance for effectively treating this disease
Andrea Mariani, M.D., Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Medical Edge from
Available at Amazon.com:
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
- A Doctor Talks About Radiation Risk From Medical Imaging
- Treatment For Rare Form of Endometrial Cancer Can Be Complex
- Cause of Initial Stroke Guides Future Stroke Prevention Strategies
- NMO and MS Take Different Courses and Require Different Treatments
- Rare Muscle and Skin Disorder Can Be Difficult to Treat
- The 411 on Salivary Stones
- Bone Up On Bone Health
- Music Only Path to Movement for Some People With Motor Disorders
- Seasonal Flu and Swine Flu Fundamentals
- Holiday Food That Makes You Sick
- Shingles: Prevention Is the Way to Go
- Methylprednisolone Relieves Shortness of Breath Not Emphysema
- For Most, Screening for Colon Cancer Should Begin at Age 50
- Adverse Effects of Scoliosis Depend on Magnitude of the Curvature
- Common Cold: How Close Are We to a Cure?
- Heart Attacks Come in All Kinds and Sizes
- Living With Fibromyalgia: Steps to Limit Your Pain
- Treatment Goal for Fuch's Dystrophy Is To Control the symptoms
- Keratitis Cornea Infection Can Be Cured With Prompt Treatment
- Cholesterol-Lowering Medications May Also Be Good for Prostate
- Surgery to Remove a Bunion Not a Quick Fix
- Most Cases of ALS Do Not Run in Families
- Thyroid Cancer: 5 Facts About the Fastest-Growing Cancer
- Where Germs Love to Hide
- Lowering Cholesterol Naturally: Lifestyle Tips
- For Those With Diabetes, Smoking Can Increase Complications
- Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
- Headache Relief: 6 Tricks to Ease the Pain
- Psoriasis: More Than Skin Deep
- Pathological Gambling: Treatments Based on Those For Substance Abuse
- Tiny Specks of Dust May Add Up to Heaps of Trouble
- Steps Can Be Taken to Prevent Recurrence of Swimmer's Ear
- Pain You Should Not Ignore
- The Food Un-coma
- Beat Canker Sores Now
- Snooze Soundly Even When You are Sick
- Living With Fibromyalgia: Take Steps to Limit Your Pain
- Is Heart Attack Going Out of Style?
- What Can I Do to Prevent Cataracts?
- For Vast Majority, Night Sweats Don't Represent Medical Concern
- Arthroscopic Surgery Often Good Option for Torn Rotator Cuff
- Diagnosis of Prediabetes Should Prompt Lifestyle Changes
- Is There a Solution for Watery Eyes?
- Fibromyalgia Symptoms Improve With Tai Chi
- What Can I Do to Stop Smoking if Standard Treatments Don't Work For Me?
- Try Natural Solutions For Insomnia
- Treatments Vary for Different Forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms Associated With Tick-Related Diseases
- Recovery From ACL Surgery Can Take Up to a Year
- Shake the Salt Habit
- Stomach Pain: When to Call the Doctor
- Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine?
- Is Not Washing Your Face Good For Your Skin?
- Pain in Finger Joints a Common First Symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Preventing Alzheimer's: 7 Risks to Consider
- Pancreas Transplant Doesn't Always Remove Need for Diabetes Treatment
- ALS Not Likely the Cause if No Other Symptoms Present
- Stents Useful Alternative to Temporary Colostomy In Some Patients With Colon Cancer
- Best Remedies for Back Pain
- Stop Insomnia - Inside the Mind of an Insomniac
- 'Bump' On Collarbone Not Uncommon After Fracture
- MLD a Rare and Serious Progressive Disease
- Sleep Apnea: Keeping Up the Positive Pressure
- Alternatives to Statins for Lowering Cholesterol
- Recurrence of Basal Cell Carcinoma Uncommon After Mohs Surgery
- Can Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?
- Self-Care Techniques to Relieve Discomfort From Buttock Pain
- Artificial Lenses Have Long Been Used to Correct Vision
- Gene Mutation That Causes Huntington's Can Occur Spontaneously
- Is It Better to Stop Smoking Abruptly or Gradually?
- Brain Scan Alone Cannot Predict Likelihood of Dementia
- Is Sunscreen Dangerous? 4 Sun Protection Dos And Don'ts
- Low Platelet Count Not Necessarily Reason to Postpone Surgery
- Could Swimming in Cool Water Cause a Heart Attack?
- Bringing Psoriasis Under Control
- Best Summer Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
- Fight the Common Mold Allergy
- Largest Ever Cell Phone Cancer Study is Inconclusive
- Treating Early-Stage Esophageal Cancer
- TNF Inhibitors Offer Relief to Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Prostate Exam Good First Stop When PSA Levels Increase
- 7 Nasty Germs That Could Land Your Kid in the Hospital And How to Avoid Them
- Secondhand Smoke A Serious Public and Personal Health Problem
- What to do About Excessive Belching and Feeling Full?
- Chest Pain: A Heart Attack or Something Else?
- Screening Plays Key Role in Detecting Polyps Before They Become Cancerous
- Learn How to Read Supplement Labels
- Compression-Only CPR Can Replace Conventional CPR in Many Circumstances
- Diabetes: Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It
- Fighting Inflammation with Food
- Cortisone Injections Unlikely to Have Negative Affect on Bones
- Bad Health Habits Rob Years From Life Span
- The Importance of Decreasing Dietary Sodium
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Takes Your Breath Away
- 7 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease
- Hypotension or Stiff Arteries May Cause Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
- Is It OK to Travel to a High Altitude With High Blood Pressure?
- Existing Drugs to Treat Herpes Are Very Effective
- Dry Mouth Can Be a Serious Problem
- 6 Simple Ways to Improve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- All About Gout: Old Disease Becoming More Common
- Frequent Monitoring Critical to Effectively Manage Scleroderma
- How to Identify Suicide Risk Before It's Too Late
- Tips for Natural Allergy Relief
- Inflammation May Play Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Bouncing Back After Being Sick
- Nicotine Patch May Offer Some Benefit to Ulcerative Colitis
- Common Myths and Misconceptions About Diabetes
- Vitamin E Supplements Not Recommended for Those With Diabetes
- Tick-Borne Disease Risk Peaks in Spring and Summer
- Meibomitis Creates Receptive Environment for Bacteria
- Top 4 Seasonal Allergy Mistakes
- Stress Less: Ten Strategies That Work
- Paralyzed Limbs Revived by Hacking Into Nerves
- Can Acid Reflux Damage my Esophagus
- Treadmill Test Can Reveal Hidden Problems in Heart
- Suffering From Allergies? Tailor Treatment to Your Symptoms
- Researchers Break Through to Unconscious Patients
- Key Factors Related to Heart Attack Risk
- Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk for Cardiovascular Problems
- Hypochondria: The Impossible Illness
- Surgeries Can be Combined But May Not be Necessary
- Is Heartburn Surgery the Answer?
- Best Cooking Methods for Heartburn Sufferers
- 14 Things You Might Not Know About Aspirin
Copyright © 2010 Mayo Clinic. All rights reserved.