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A longitudinal study of screening for endometrial cancer by endometrial biopsy in diabetic females
  1. M. H. VUENTO*,
  2. J. I. MAATELA§,
  3. J. E. TYRKKÖ,
  4. P. J. LAIPPALA,
  5. M. GRÖNROOS* and
  6. T. A. SALMI*
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  2. Pathology, University of Turku, Turku
  3. Department of Public Health/Biometry Unit, University of Tampere, Tampere
  4. §the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Turku, Finland
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr M. Vuento, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, University Central Hospital of Turku, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


Diabetics are at high risk of developing endometrial cancer; the relative risk of endometrial cancer in diabetics is fourfold in comparison to non-diabetic controls. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the effectiveness of screening asymptomatic diabetic females in terms of the premalignant and malignant endometrial findings, and to try to determine the optimal screening interval. In 1980–1981, a group of 462 diabetic females was identified and registered. One half of them (237) was invited to be screened. Endometrial samples were taken by using Vabra aspiration. The results of this first randomized screening in 1980–1981 have been published elsewhere. At that time 124 females participated. The remaining 225 females acted as an unscreened control group. Eight years later (1988–1989), both groups were invited to be screened. The Pistolet aspiration method was used. At this stage, group 1 (screened in 1980–1981) consisted of 78 females, and group 2 (not screened in 1980–1981) consisted of 148 females. In 85% (193/226) of the females, the uterine cavity was reached with the Pistolet instrument; 96% of the females found the pain acceptable. In the group screened twice (group 1), no pathologic lesions of the endometrium were found in the second screening. In the group screened for the first time (group 2), one female had endometrial adenocarcinoma (0.8%), one had complex hyperplasia without atypia (0.8%) and four had endometrial polyps (3.3%). In 165 cases of 193, both a cytologic and a histologic specimen were available. In 130 cases (79%) the cytology was of class I, including the one endometrial adenocarcinoma. In three cases (2%) it was of class II and in one case (1%) of class III. Endometrial biopsy by Pistolet aspiration was a method highly acceptable by the patients for examining the endometrium. However, cytologic examination was not able to show the existing endometrial adenocarcinoma. One endometrial sampling of asymptomatic diabetic females during early menopause could detect the bulk of the occult, slowly progressing lesions of the endometrium. Such screeening might be most efficient in terms of cost-benefit ratio.

  • cancer registry
  • diabetes
  • endometrial biopsy
  • endometrial cancer
  • Pistolet aspiration
  • screening

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