Oncology (General Cancer)/Uterine Cancer/Biopsy


QUESTION: I had a D&C plus hysteroscopy recently but the Doctor was unable to obtain a sample for biopsy, due to being menopausal etc.  I was informed there was nothing suspicious but as I am not quite reassured I would be grateful for your opinion regarding this?

ANSWER: If the doctor didn't see any abnormal areas, that's a very good sign.  Almost always the hysteroscopy would show something if you had a problem.  You can also be assured that almost all the time uterine cancer gives signs of its presence (bleeding) long before it becomes incurable.  So I would be reassured and simply follow your doctor's advice.  Hope this helps.  (By the way, the D and C is a form of biopsy and if that tissue was negative that's even better).  

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QUESTION: Thanks for quick reply.  Besides not getting a biopsy the Doctor was unable to obtain a specimen due to an atrophic endometrium when attempting the D&C curettage so can I ask, is this unusual to fail because of the atrophy and should I still be assured without the biopsy and curettage being obtained and tested?  Thanking you in anticipation.

It's not unusual when there is atrophy.  Tumor tissue is very "friable" which means that it breaks off easily.  Atrophic tissue is difficult to sample with a curette.  Normal mucosa is somewhere in between.  I think if curettage was attempted and the doctor did a physical exam, I think you are safe.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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