Untreated endometrial cancer: a case report and a review of the literature
Background: The natural course of untreated endometrial adenocarcinoma is difficult to describe because observation of an already diagnosed cancer is unethical. However, occasionally, patients refuse therapy for different reasons, thus providing the opportunity to observe the natural course of the malignant disease. These patients are for obvious reasons rare cases. We present such a case and a review of the literature.
Methods: This article is a description of one case story and a systematic review of the literature.
Results: A case of a premenopausal woman with a well-differentiated endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinoma is presented. She did not want any therapy. She was followed for 3 years with growing tumor burden and finally died. Five other cases of untreated endometrial carcinoma were found in the literature. The patients had varying length of survival (range: 5 months to 12 years), but all patients experienced generally good health several years after diagnosis.
Conclusion: The case presented here and the literature reviews indicate that patients with untreated endometrial endometrioid carcinoma may survive for several years. The exact lifetime increment gained by treatment in patients with favorable prognostic factors will remain unknown. However, it should never be used as a pretext for delaying or not treating these patients.