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Navigating the Next Steps after an Abnormal Endometrial Biopsy

Kat Sanford | January 9, 2024

PART TWO: Understanding the Diagnosis + the Next Steps

It has been nine months since I received the call that stopped me in my tracks. It was the day that my gynecologist called to tell me that my endometrial (uterine) biopsy results were abnormal and that I was being referred to a gynecological oncologist.

Even though I didn't hear the words "you have cancer" in that phone call, I felt a turbulent mix of fear, confusion, and disbelief. My doctor was very reassuring and told me she would send her sister to this oncologist if needed. That was comforting but only a little because in a matter of moments, all I could think about was, "I have to see an oncologist." and "I may have cancer." In my mind, seeing an oncologist means you have cancer. You can read more

about "the call" here.

The first 24 hours after "the call" were filled with shock and worry. What does this diagnosis mean? My mind was spinning with thoughts like: What if I have cancer? Do I need surgery? Will I have to take chemo treatments? Did we catch it in time?

After the initial shock, I proactively scheduled my initial consultation with the oncologist. Once that was done, I had a choice. Sit around and worry or learn more about my biopsy results, diagnosis, and treatment protocols. Knowledge is power for me, so I started researching.

Today, I want to share some important information I discovered, including essential definitions regarding uterine cancer and tips to help you or a loved one navigate an abnormal endometrial biopsy.

First, Understanding the Diagnosis My diagnosis was atypical hyperplasia/endometrioid intraepithelial neoplasia, a term that felt both alien and terrifying. According to the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecologists, endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia (EIN), or atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH), is a precursor lesion to adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. It occurs when an abnormal growth of cells occurs in the lining of the uterus.

Click below to download a list of essential terms to understand regarding endometrial cancer.

Download PDF • 68KB

Symptoms Below are a few symptoms that may indicate potential uterine abnormalities. You may have other symptoms not listed, so consult with your doctor when in doubt. I am 54 years old, had low estrogen (a sign of menopause), and was still having heavy regular periods.

  • Irregular bleeding, between periods, or heavy menstrual flow

  • Bleeding after menopause

  • Pelvic pain

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

Navigating the Next Steps

Now that you have an understanding of the medical jargon, it's important to decide how you want to move forward. Here are the steps I took to better understand my diagnosis and prepare for my oncology consult.

1. Understand the clinical aspects of your diagnosis. Learn what the medical terms mean.

2. Make a list of questions for your OB/GYN or oncologist.

3. Use trusted resources like MD Anderson or the American Cancer Society for research.

Armed with information, hopefully, you will be able to navigate the next steps of this diagnosis with calm and confidence.

Conclusion My diagnosis became a turning point in my life. Understanding the clinical definition of my condition was not just a medical necessity; it was a lifeline that kept me afloat during times of uncertainty. If you are in a similar situation, I want you to know that feeling scared and uncertain is okay. But don't underestimate the power of understanding. It’s not just a shield; it’s a weapon, arming you with the knowledge and strength to face whatever comes your way.

If you or someone you love is facing the uncertainty of a diagnosis like mine, know that you are not alone. If you feel alone, reach out to family, friends, your spiritual support team or a local support group. And find a medical team that feels right for you.

I hope this post helps make the fear of the "C" word a little less frightening. Stay tuned for the next blog installment, where I will share my experience from my oncology consultation. Until then...




Kat Sanford is a certified Revelation Wellness fitness instructor and multi-talented entrepreneur who celebrated her 54th birthday one week after her hysterectomy in 2023. She also is a Hashimoto's warrior who is on a mission to live her second act better than her first and help other women do the same.

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