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Breast cancer is among the commonest malignancies found in women. Several studies indicated that there are some factors that might co-incidentally give rise to the development of both breast cancer and endometrial cancer. These factors include obesity, prolong reproductive phase and excess estrogen level. It is interesting, therefore, to investigate whether postmenopausal breast cancer patients treated in Srinagarind hospital have thickened endometrium or other abnormalities of reproductive organs.
To determine the prevalence of endometrial thickening in postmenopausal breast cancer patients.
Cross-sectional descriptive study.
Srinagarind hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University.
Total of 66 postmenopausal breast cancer patients receiving treatment at Srinagarind hospital from 1 July 1999 to 31 August 2000 were included in the study. Patients who have been treated with hormones such as estrogen, progesterone or tamoxifen are excluded from the study.
Thorough history taking and physical examination as well as transvaginal ultrasonography were conducted in all patients.
Among the 66 patients included in this study, the mean age was 54.97 years. The mean body weight and mean body mass index was 57.95 kg and 24.48 kg/m2, respectively. The mean age at diagnosis of breast cancer was 51.62 years. The majority of patients (75.76%) had stage II disease. The mean + SD of endometrial thickness found in this study was 3.55 + 1.72 mm. The prevalence of thickened endometrium (defined as ET > 5mm from TVS) was 10.60%. Other pelvic pathologies detected by ultrasonography were myoma uteri (4.55%) and ovarian mass (1.52%).
The prevalence of thickened endometrium in postmenopausal breast cancer patients found in this study was interestingly high. It thus seems justified to propose that thorough pelvic examination as well as transvaginal ultrasound scan should be done in all postmenopausal patients diagnosed with breast cancer in order to detect endometrial and other pelvic pathologies that could arise in such cases.