Diagnosing Endometrial Cancer

If you have symptoms that suggest endometrial cancer, also called uterine cancer, your doctor will try to find out what’s causing the problems. You may have a physical exam and blood tests. Also, you may have one or more of the following tests:

  • Pelvic exam: Your doctor can check your uterus, vagina, and nearby tissues for any lumps or changes in shape or size.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound device uses sound waves that can’t be heard by humans. The sound waves make a pattern of echoes as they bounce off organs inside the pelvis. The echoes create a picture of your uterus and nearby tissues. The picture can show a uterine tumor. For a better view of the uterus, the device may be inserted into the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound).
  • Biopsy: The removal of tissue to look for cancer cells is a biopsy. A thin tube is inserted through the vagina into your uterus. Your doctor uses gentle scraping and suction to remove samples of tissue. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. In most cases, a biopsy is the only sure way to tell whether cancer is present.

Grade of Uterine Cancer

If cancer is found, the pathologist studies tissue samples from the uterus under a microscope to learn the grade of the tumor. The grade tells how much the tumor tissue differs from normal uterine tissue. It may suggest how fast the tumor is likely to grow. Tumors with higher grades tend to grow faster than those with lower grades. Tumors with higher grades are also more likely to spread. Doctors use tumor grade (how it looks under a microscope) along with the stage of uterine cancer (size and extent) to suggest treatment options.

Endometrial Cancer Care Available at Willamette Valley

 If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer or any other type of gynecologic cancer, make an appointment with one of our gynecologic oncologists. Our cancer centers are conveniently located throughout the Willamette Valley and central coast, including Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Newport, Florence, and Lincoln City.

Request an Appointment with a Cancer Doctor