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  • Endometrioid adenoma

    Endometroid adenoma is a type of ovarian cancer that accounts for ten to twenty percent of all diagnosed cases of this disease.

    Along with serous tumors and mucinous cystadenocarcinoma, endometroid adenoma belongs to the most common classification of ovarian cancer, called ovarian epithelial carcinoma. This type of cancer involves the formation of a tumor in the lining of the ovaries.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Ovarian cancer, including endometroid adenoma, is sometimes called the “silent killer” because symptoms are not always evident until the cancer has progressed significantly. In the later stages of ovarian cancer, patients may feel pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs, and they may also report a swollen or bloated abdomen.

    Other common signs of ovarian cancer include fatigue, nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. In rare cases, women who have ovarian cancer may also report vaginal bleeding, shortness of breath, and frequent urination.

    Causes & Risk Factors

    Little is known about the direct mechanisms that cause ovarian cancer in general, or about the specific causes of endometroid adenomas. However, researchers have identified several factors that seem to increase a womanís risk of developing ovarian cancer.

    First, genetic mutations of the genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 are linked with ovarian cancer.

    Second, women over fifty years old seem to exhibit a higher incidence of the disease, as do women who have never been pregnant. Women that have a family or personal history of cancer are also at increased risk for ovarian cancer, and studies show that the use hormone therapy to treat symptoms of menopause increases a woman’s likelihood of developing the condition.

    Women whose hormone therapy regimens require them to take estrogen alone, (not in combination with progesterone) for a decade or more exhibit a particularly high incidence of ovarian cancer.

    Diagnosis

    Any type of ovarian cancer, including endometroid adenoma, is difficult to diagnose in its early stages due to the non-specificity of the symptoms. When a case is suspected, though, doctors take several steps to definitively diagnose it and plan a course of treatment. A thorough pelvic examination is usually the first step, and this may be supplemented with various blood tests. (Use of imaging technology may be substituted for the pelvic exam in very young patients).

    When these procedures indicate ovarian cancer, the next step is usually a surgical procedure that looks directly at the suspected tumor, and removes a tissue sample for analysis. In order to determine whether the cancer has metastasized (spread to other body parts) doctors may also conduct a CT scan, chest x-ray, barium enema, and/or colonoscopy.

    Staging

    In stage one of endometrioid adenoma, cancer cells may be located in the lining of one or both ovaries, and they may also appear on the surface of the ovaries or in abdominal fluid. In the second stage of endometrioid adenoma, the cells affect not just the ovaries, but also other tissues in the pelvis.

    This may include the fallopian tubes, uterus, or other pelvic tissues. In stage three, cancerous cells now affect the regional lymph nodes, in addition to the areas described in stage two. They may also appear on the exterior of the liver. In the last stage, cancer cells may occupy the interior of the liver, lungs, or other organs.

    Treatment

    The three basic treatment methods for ovarian cancer, including endometroid adenoma, are local surgical resection of the cancerous cells, intraperitoneal chemotherapy, (drugs are delivered directly to the affected area) and systemic chemotherapy. In many cases, surgical resection and chemotherapy may be used in combination.