nursing care for uterine cancer

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what is uterine cancer?

Content is medically reviewed by:

Dr. Udaya Kumar Maiya (MBBS, MD, DNB(RT), DCCF (Paris), Medical Director, Portea.

Uterine cancer definition states that when normally, healthy cells in the uterus lining are mutated into abnormal cells which become cancerous, it leads to the growth of tumours in the uterus which is known as endometrial cancer. Women over the age of 55 are most prone to uterine cancer, and this is common in women who have not had any prior pregnancies as well. You are at a higher risk of endometrial cancer if you have undergone estrogen-only hormone-replacement therapy over a prolonged period of time.

Uterine cancer symptoms range from abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, pelvic pains, and pain association with urination and intercourse. Doctors recommend uterine cancer treatment methods like surgical therapy, radiation therapy, clinical trials, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy or even a combination of these – to patients.

types of uterine cancer

There are mainly two uterine cancer types found in patients:

  1. Endometrial Carcinomas – Cancerous cells build in the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium), and endometrial carcinomas are commonly referred to as uterine cancer or adenocarcinoma.
  2. Uterine sarcomas – Starts in the supportive connective tissues or the muscle layer (myometrium) of the uterus. 2% to 4% of uterine cancer cases fall into this type and treatment is different in most cases.

what are some of the uterine cancer causes?

Although age is linked with uterine cancer causes, clear signs of what causes uterine cancer are unknown. It is known that certain factors are linked to uterine cancer causes, and they are:

  • Unbalanced Oestrogen Levels – Unbalanced oestrogen levels in the body after menopause is known to cause cancerous cells to divide and multiply in the uterus.
  • Obesity – Being overweight or obese increases oestrogen levels in your body, thus increasing your chances of developing uterine cancer.
  • No pregnancies – If you have never undergone pregnancy in the past, you may be vulnerable to uterine cancer symptoms due to the low oestrogen levels and high levels of progesterone.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS presence in women leads to high oestrogen levels in the body.
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia – This is a medical condition where the endometrial lining thickens, thus increasing chances of a uterine cancer diagnosis.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Women with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for getting uterine cancer since it raises insulin levels, which in turn raise oestrogen levels in the body.

diagnosis of uterine cancer

Uterine cancer tests used for diagnosing cancer in the uterus are:

  • Pelvic Examination: Your doctor will inspect the vulva (outside of your genitals) and insert two fingers in the vagina while pressing your abdomen with the other hand to examine the uterus and ovaries. A device known as speculum may be used to open up your vagina and view any abnormalities.
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound – The thickness and texture of your endometrial lining are examined by inserting a transducer in your vagina which uses sound waves to render detailed images of the uterus.
  • Endometrial Biopsy – An endometrial biopsy is a surgical procedure used to collect tissue samples from your uterus for laboratory diagnosis. A uterine cancer diagnostic test performed on this sample will reveal any abnormalities.
  • Dilation And Curettage (D&C) – If an endometrial biopsy doesn’t work, then you may have to undergo this special surgical procedure where tissue samples are scraped from the uterus and analysed using a microscope as part of uterus cancer diagnosis.

uterine cancer treatment

Your uterine cancer treatment plan will be based on age, your general health and degree or extent of uterine cancer stages. Your doctor may recommend the following uterine cancer treatment procedures to you:


Surgical procedures are intended to remove the uterus and eliminate cancer in its entirety. The process is called a hysterectomy, and robot-assisted surgeries are available these days for the removal of the uterus and surrounding affected tissues. Pain relieving medications may be prescribed to women post-surgery. Fertility-preserving surgeries are available, and it is best to discuss with your doctor regarding possible options based on your uterine cancer stages.

Radiation Therapy:

If surgery is not an option for women, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy. High-powered energy beams travel across your body externally and delete cancerous cells from the uterus. It may be applied to the pelvis or the vaginal cavities.

Hormone Therapy:

Hormone therapy involves giving patients a high dose of progesterone to slow the growth of uterine cancer tumours. Hormone therapy is available for those who cannot undergo surgery or radiation therapy and is used with a combination of other medications or treatments.


In Chemotherapy, treatment cycles may vary as the patient may be given a single drug or a combination of drugs at different points in time. Drugs or specific medications are given to patients either orally, intravenously (through a vein) or in the form of pills and capsules. Chemotherapy treatment is given after a surgical procedure to remove remaining cancerous cells from the uterus.

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