Endometrial cancer starts in the uterus. Its treatment varies depending on the patient’s health, the type of endometrial cancer, and the stage of the condition. Among the options patients have, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) stands out as both a treatment choice and a preventive measure.
Endometrial Cancer: Symptoms, Risks, and Cause
Endometrial cancer is one of the most hormone-sensitive health conditions that can afflict women. It begins in the endometrium, the layer of cells that make up the lining of the uterus. Since it frequently induces abnormal vaginal bleeding, it is typically detected at its early stages. Other endometrial cancer symptoms include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Unexpected weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Pain during intercourse
Certain factors contribute to the risk of endometrial cancer. People who identify with the following health backgrounds have higher chances of developing the condition:
- High Blood Pressure
- Irregular periods
- First period before the age of 12
- Late-onset of menopause
- Family history of endometrial cancer
Doctors have yet to identify what causes endometrial cancer. What they have established is that the condition originates from DNA mutations in the lining of the uterus. The cause of this change is currently undetermined.
How Hormone Therapy Prevents and Treats Endometrial Cancer
Hormone therapy utilizes hormones and hormone-blocking drugs to treat the condition. Typically used in tandem with chemotherapy, it is recommended for cancer that has recurred or has progressed to stage III and stage IV. Here’s how it treats and prevents endometrial cancer:
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Hormone treatment for endometrial cancer is not the same hormone therapy that’s used for menopausal symptoms. It has various forms, each one focusing on a certain aspect of the condition. All inhibit the growth of cancer cells in some way.
Hormone therapy for endometrial cancer includes:
- Progestin – impedes the growth of cancer cells
- Aromatase inhibitors – diminishes fat-related estrogen to curtail the growth of cancer cells
- Tamoxifen – prevents estrogens from contributing to the growth of cancer cells
- Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists – lowers estrogen levels to diminish the growth of cancer cells
- Helps regulate progesterone levels
Low progesterone levels may result in the development of endometrial hyperplasia, which in turn can cause endometrial cancer. As such, maintaining ideal progesterone levels helps prevent the development of the condition.
If the issue is a deficiency, one notable form of medication is compounded progesterone. A more customized solution compared to most of the synthetic progestins in the market, compounded progesterone uses bioidentical technology associated with reduced risk for cancer.
- Alleviates menopausal symptoms
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive cycle, and it comes with a host of symptoms that may increase the risk for endometrial cancer. HRT helps ease premenopausal symptoms in women, especially when taken regularly. Continuous use can also regulate estrogen and progesterone levels, diminishing the chances of endometrial cancer development.
Compound Medication for Endometrial Cancer Prevention
Another way to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer is to maintain level hormones with compound medications. Typically prescribed by doctors at extremely low doses, this type of treatment comes in various forms, including:
- Creams and gels
- Skin patches
- Vaginal rings
Compounded medication is often prescribed at low, customized doses, making it easier for new users to adjust to administration. Visit your nearby compounding pharmacy now and learn more about hormone replacement therapy and how it can help the fight against cancer.