Understanding Ultrasound Imaging for Endometrial Cancer Detection

Understanding Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium. It is the most common type of uterine cancer and typically occurs in postmenopausal women. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, and ultrasound imaging plays a vital role in diagnosing endometrial cancer.

Ultrasound and Endometrial Cancer

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses sound waves to create images of the internal organs. It is widely used in gynecology to evaluate the uterus and detect abnormalities, including endometrial cancer.
During an ultrasound examination for endometrial cancer, a transvaginal ultrasound is often performed. This involves inserting a small probe into the vagina to obtain detailed images of the uterus and endometrium. The images produced by ultrasound can help identify signs of endometrial cancer and guide further diagnostic procedures.

Signs of Endometrial Cancer on Ultrasound

While ultrasound cannot definitively diagnose endometrial cancer, it can reveal several signs that may indicate the presence of cancer. Here are some common signs of endometrial cancer that may be detected on an ultrasound:

Thickened Endometrium:

One of the most significant signs of endometrial cancer on ultrasound is a thickened endometrium. In postmenopausal women, an endometrial thickness of more than 4-5 millimeters may suggest the presence of cancer. However, it is important to note that a thickened endometrium does not always indicate cancer and further tests are required for a definitive diagnosis.

Irregular Endometrial Borders:

Another sign of endometrial cancer on ultrasound is irregular borders of the endometrium. Cancerous growths often cause the endometrium to appear distorted or uneven.

Endometrial Mass or Tumor:

In some cases, ultrasound may detect the presence of an endometrial mass or tumor. These masses can vary in size and shape and may be indicative of endometrial cancer.
It is important to remember that these signs are not exclusive to endometrial cancer and can also be caused by other conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia or uterine fibroids. Therefore, additional diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, may be necessary to confirm the presence of cancer.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience any symptoms that may be indicative of endometrial cancer, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Some common symptoms include:

    • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially after menopause
    • Pelvic pain or discomfort
    • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
    • Unexplained weight loss

Your healthcare provider will evaluate your symptoms and may recommend further tests, including an ultrasound, to determine the cause of your symptoms.


Ultrasound imaging is a valuable tool in the detection and evaluation of endometrial cancer. While it cannot provide a definitive diagnosis, it can identify signs that may indicate the presence of cancer, such as a thickened endometrium, irregular borders, or the presence of an endometrial mass. If you experience any symptoms or have concerns about endometrial cancer, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider who can guide you through the necessary diagnostic process.

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