English researchers have just developed a device that can detect endometrial cancer in urine or vaginal discharge. In addition to current screening techniques that are considered too invasive, another option is possible.
Also read: Endometriosis Latest Facts: Etiology, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications
What is Uterine Cancer?
Also known as endometrial cancer, this type of cancer differs from cervical cancer in that it affects the lining of the uterus. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer in women in the US and particularly affects women going through menopause. According to the NIH, the average age of diagnosis is 68 years. This new tool could make it easier to identify and better treat this cancer: if treated early enough, the chances of survival are high, but 20% of women are already at an advanced stage in which the disease is diagnosed. For these women, the five-year survival rate is 15%.
How is endometrial cancer currently diagnosed?
The diagnosis of this cancer is now carried out in two steps: First, a pelvic ultrasound is performed to determine whether the endometrium has thickened, a possible sign of the disease. When this happens, doctors do a biopsy, which involves taking a sample of the endometrium for analysis. According to British researchers, this examination is usually done with a telescope to examine the inside of the uterus. However, in 31% of cases, women have to do this again due to technical problems or excessive pain.
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A less painful test for women
A new screening method that is less invasive than a biopsy, but just as reliable: researchers at the University of Manchester have developed a urine test for the detection of uterine cancer, which they presented in the journal Nature Communications. The diagnosis is made by analyzing the sample urine or vaginal discharge under a microscope.
The study was carried out on a sample of 216 women, half of whom had endometrial cancer and the other half had unexplained bleeding after they had passed through menopause. These blood discharges are one of the main symptoms of the disease. The new tool showed significant reliability: in women who had already been diagnosed with endometrial cancer, the test was positive in 91.7% of the cases. For those who were not affected, the result was negative 88.9% of the cases. “Women who tested positive with this tool could benefit from further investigation and those who tested negative could be reassured without the need for an awkward, invasive, anxiety-inducing, and expensive procedure,” said Emma Crosbie, director of the Study in a press release. The test gives a result from both urine and vaginal secretions. Samples could be taken at home, which would further facilitate the acceptance of the test.
Also read: The non-invasive urine test could soon replace the biopsy for prostate cancer
Diagnostic accuracy of cytology for the detection of endometrial cancer in urine and vaginal samples
A simple urine test can detect uterine cancer
There is a new way to treat endometrial, and other uterine cancers, using robotic surgery, targeted molecular therapies where needed, and integrative holistic support. It might help you to review your 21st century options: Uterine Endometrial Cancer Treatment Options