Uterine Cancer Screening & Diagnosis
There is no standard screening test for uterine cancer in women without symptoms. Some tests and procedures that can be used to diagnose endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma include:
- Pelvic examination: The doctor feels the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and rectum to check for any unusual findings.
- Transvaginal ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to create a picture of the uterus so that the doctor can look for abnormalities in the uterine lining. If the endometrium looks too thick, the doctor may decide to perform a biopsy.
- Endometrial biopsy: This procedure involves removing a sample of endometrial tissue for laboratory analysis. This can usually be completed in the doctor’s office.
- Hysteroscopy: For this imaging procedure, a thin, flexible, lighted tube (hysteroscope) is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. A lens on the hysteroscope allows direct visualization of the uterus and the endometrium.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): If the biopsy does not yield enough tissue or if the laboratory results are unclear, a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) can be performed. During D&C, tissue is scraped from the lining of the uterus and examined under a microscope for cancer cells. A D&C is often done in combination with a hysteroscopy.
- More advanced screening can include a CT scan to produce 3D cross-sectional images of the uterus, and an MRI to look at the various layers of the uterine wall.