Endometrial cancer refers to the development of cancerous tumors in the uterus. This type of cancer occurs when the cells of the endometrial lining of the uterus start growing in an uncontrollable manner. In most cases, the tumors invade the muscle tissue of the uterus, and they may also spread to other surrounding parts and organs, including the ovaries and the abdomen. Studies have revealed that the main risk factor for developing endometrial cancer is age. Women at menopause have a higher propensity to developing this type of cancer. However, cases of this type of cancer have been reported in women at significantly younger ages. Endometrial cancer is diagnosed through screening procedures, and it is associated with symptoms like vaginal bleeding, painful sexual intercourse, pain when urinating, back pains, among other symptoms. There has been an increase in the number of women being diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the recent past, and this implies that there needs to be a campaign to sensitize women about the risk factors and preventive measures against the diseases.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), endometrium cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in women, with respect to the reproductive organs. The ACS estimates that more than 60,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in 2016, and more than 10,000 will die from the disease (Key Statistics for Endometrial Cancer?, 2016). This is a worrying statistic; hence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a campaign, in partnership with various associations dealing with cancer, to promote women’s health through the creation of awareness of the risk factors. CDC has particularly highlighted important information on the various ways that women can prevent endometrial cancer.
These preventive ways include the use of the birth control pills that stop ovulation and menstruation, healthy diet and weight loss, regular exercising, and hormone therapy to balance the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body (Uterine cancer Statistics, 2016). It is apparent that these health promotion guidelines are geared toward eliminating the common risk factors associated with endometrial cancer. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act has enhanced the efforts of the ACS to help cancer survivors through the coverage of certain prescription drugs and enhancing the accessibility and affordability of cancer-related preventive health care services.
Importance to Women’s Health
Since endometrial cancer is one of the highest cancer-related causes of death among women in the United States, it is imperative for the healthcare system to look into the development of health promotion and prevention programs targeting this disease. It is apparent that the cases of endometrial cancer are increasing exponentially in the nation, and this will have negative implications on the health outcomes of women on both short-term and long-term basis. Since endometrial cancer is a preventable disease, the most important approach toward reducing the reported cases of the disease should be the development of a campaign that compels women to get screening for the disease (Dolinsky, 2016). This will facilitate early interventions of the disease to reduce the mortality rate associated with endometrial cancer. It is apparent that most women discover that they have endometrial cancer when it is in its serious stages, and this is one of the reasons that the death rate of endometrial cancer patients is too high.
Additionally, there is a need for the health care system to develop a campaign to educate women in all age groups about the risk factors associated with endometrial cancer, and the possible ways to prevent it. Many women still believe that they do not need to worry about endometrial cancer before they get to menopause, but studies and data from the CDC have revealed that younger women are also at risk of developing this type of cancer. Some of the risk factors that all women should not ignore include being overweight and having a close relative diagnosed with the disease. Women should also be educated on the need to use birth control pills and hormone therapy to reduce the risk of developing tumors in the endometrium (Kim, Kurita & Bulun, 2013). Community nurses should particularly be in the limelight of providing this information to the women in their areas, and mobilizing them to compel their peers to get tested for endometrial cancer regularly.
Questions for Further Exploration
One of the questions for further exploration on this topic is whether researchers are looking into developing better and more efficient ways of screening for endometrial cancer. The current screening methods have not been sufficiently effective in highlighting the genesis of endometrial cancer; hence, most women only get diagnosed with endometrial cancer when there are visible related symptoms. Are scientists working toward developing a better way to screen for endometrial cancer? Secondly, are scientists working toward developing a vaccine for endometrial cancer? The health care system should be compelled to look into funding more studies to look into understanding the factors whose interplay results in the development of endometrial cancer.
Dolinsky, C. (2016). All about Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer. Web.
Key Statistics for Endometrial Cancer? (2016). Web.
Kim, J. J., Kurita, T., & Bulun, S. E. (2013). Progesterone action in endometrial cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer. Endocrine reviews, 34(1), 130-162.
Uterine Cancer Statistics. (2016). Web.