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Endometrial Cancer in Pregnancy: Rare but Serious Condition

Endometrial cancer during pregnancy is rare, but serious. It is often diagnosed late because pregnancy symptoms can mask cancer symptoms.

Endometrial Cancer in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of joy and anticipation, but it can also be a period of uncertainty and worry, especially when faced with a diagnosis like endometrial cancer.

As a Endometrial cancer surgeon in Mumbai, I understand the concerns and questions that may arise when dealing with this rare and challenging situation. 

What is Endometrial Cancer?

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. While it is most commonly diagnosed in postmenopausal women. Only 5 % of endometrial cancers occur in women younger than 40 years. 

The diagnosis of endometrial cancer in pregnancy is very rare. However, the scenario  is particularly challenging due to concerns about the safety of the fetus.

How is Endometrial Cancer Diagnosed During Pregnancy?

Endometrial cancer diagnosis

The symptoms of endometrial cancer, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain, may be mistaken for pregnancy-related issues. However, if these symptoms persist or are severe, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider.

Endometrial cancer in pregnancy is usually diagnosed 

  1. During miscarriage 
  2. When there is persistent vaginal bleeding due after delivery
  3. During Work up for infertility 
  4. and patient has turned pregnant accidentally while waiting for test results

 MRI is the investigation of choice when there is a liver fetus in the uterus. However the findings may be confusing due to pregnancy related changes.

Read More: Treatment Options for Endometrial Cancer

Looking For Endometrial Cancer Treatment?

You must visit a Endometrial Cancer Specialist In Mumbai Dr. Praveen Kammar, at the earliest. 

Potential Risks and Complications

The diagnosis of endometrial cancer during pregnancy raises concerns about the health of both the mother and the baby. Potential risks and complications include:

  • Preterm birth:

    Some treatments for endometrial cancer may increase the risk of preterm birth, which can result in various health problems for the baby.

  • Low birth weight:

    Babies born to mothers undergoing treatment for endometrial cancer may have a lower birth weight, which could lead to developmental issues.

  • Miscarriage:

    In some cases, the treatment of endometrial cancer during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Read More: Endometrial Cancer: Causes, Symptoms

Treatment Options for Endometrial Cancer During Pregnancy

Endometrial Cancer

The treatment of endometrial cancer during pregnancy depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the health of the mother and the baby, gestation age and the personal preferences of the patient.

Due to the rarity of this clinical entity there is no sound scientific proof to guide decisions. However , it has been observed that the majority of these cancers are low grade and without or with minimal myometrial involvement.  Some possible treatment options include:

  • Close monitoring:

Pregnancy hormones have the ability to suppress the growth of endometrial cancer. Hence close observation is a valid option when the pregnancy is precious or the patient decides to continue pregnancy. A definitive treatment can be offered after the delivery. The outcomes depend on the type of endometrial cancer and the stage. 

  • Surgery:

surgery

A surgical procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C) may be performed to remove the cancerous tissue. However this means the loss of pregnancy. Based on the analysis of removed tissue and other imaging studies, it can be determined if fertility can be preserved for future pregnancy while treating the cancer adequately.

If the disease is advanced , a surgical removal of all the disease with a resultant loss of pregnancy may need to be considered. Similar steps can be taken when a patient decides to terminate pregnancy and get treated for the cancer. 

In some instances removal of only the nodes , without touching the uterus and ovaries can be considered, to determine if chemotherapy is needed to control the tumour while pregnancy can be preserved.

  • Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy may be considered if the cancer has spread beyond the uterus. However, this treatment option carries risks to the fetus and may only be recommended in specific circumstances.

Next Steps if You Are Diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer During Pregnancy

 Being diagnosed with endometrial cancer during pregnancy can be overwhelming, but it is essential to take proactive steps towards managing the situation. Here are some recommendations on what to do next if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer during pregnancy:

  • Seek expert advice:

Consult with a gynecologic oncologist who specializes in treating endometrial cancer and has experience in managing cancer during pregnancy. They will help you understand your diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment options based on your individual circumstances.

  • Assemble a multidisciplinary team:

In addition to a gynecologic oncologist, involve other healthcare professionals, such as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician, and a neonatologist, who can provide comprehensive care for both you and your baby throughout the pregnancy and treatment process.

  • Educate yourself:

Learn as much as you can about endometrial cancer, its treatment options, and potential risks during pregnancy. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about your care and better understand the recommendations made by your healthcare team.

  • Ask questions:

Do not hesitate to ask your consulting doctors any questions you may have about your diagnosis, treatment options, or concerns related to your pregnancy. They are there to support you and provide you with the information you need.

  • Consider your options:

Discuss the available treatment options with your healthcare team and carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of each approach. Remember that the decision is ultimately yours, and it is crucial to choose a course of action that aligns with your personal values and preferences.

  • Seek emotional support:

A cancer diagnosis during pregnancy can be emotionally challenging, so it is essential to seek support from friends, family, and mental health professionals.

  • Maintain open communication:

Keep the lines of communication open with your oncologist, your partner, and your support network throughout your pregnancy and treatment process. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together to provide the best possible care for you and your baby.

By following these steps, you can navigate the complexities of endometrial cancer during pregnancy and move forward with confidence, knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure the best possible outcomes for both you and your baby.

Get in Touch

If you or someone you know is facing endometrial cancer during pregnancy, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Praveen Kammar. With years of experience and dedication to patient-centred care, Dr. Praveen committed to helping patients navigate through this difficult time and providing the best possible treatment options. To schedule a consultation, please contact.

Conclusion

Endometrial cancer during pregnancy is a rare and challenging situation that requires careful consideration of both the mother’s and baby’s well-being.

By understanding the potential risks and available treatment options, patients and their families can make informed decisions and work with experienced cancer specialists to ensure the best possible outcomes for both the mother and the baby.

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    About Author
    Dr. Praveen Kammar

    Surgical Oncologist

    12+

    Years Of Experience

    Dr. Praveen Kammar is a Best Surgical Oncologist in Mumbai. His main area of expertise aslso includes GI oncology, Gynecological cancers, minimal access surgeries, Robotics surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, HIPEC.

    Dr. Praveen has done more than 6000+ surgeries in his expertise.

    More About Doctor

     

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