The uterus is the pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis, also called the womb, where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The most common type of uterine cancer is also called endometrial cancer because it forms in the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium. The risk of endometrial cancer increases with age. Most endometrial cancers are found in women who are going through, or who have gone through menopause – the time of life when your menstrual periods stop. Each year approximately 50,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It is the fourth most common cancer in women in the United States (CDC, 2019).
Signs & Symptoms
Endometrial cancer may present as with the ollowing findings
- Vaginal discharge that is not normal for you
- Vaginal bleeding that is not considered normal for you
- Pain/pressure in your pelvis
An example of abnormal uterine bleeding is bleeding after you have gone through menopause, bleeding between periods, or any other bleeding that is considered longer or heavier than normal for you.
How Can I Prevent Uterine Cancer
There is no known way to prevent endometrial cancer, but the following things have been known to lower the chance of getting endometrial cancer:
- Using birth control pills
- Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active
- Taking progesterone (female hormone) while taking estrogen to replace hormones during menopause
If you think you may be at high risk for endometrial cancer, or if you have a family history of endometrial cancer, talk with your clinician about whether there are testing that may be suitable for you.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Uterine Cancer
Endometrial cancer is typically diagnosed when a biopsy, or sample of the uterine lining, is sent to a pathologist for evaluation. If it is determined that you have endometrial cancer, surgical removal of the uterus is typically indicated. We may recommend you consult with a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation and treatment.