There are many different factors which can contribute to your susceptibility to uterine cancer. In fact, most women will find themselves at risk at some point in their lives, based on these risk factors alone. Obesity, unopposed oestrogen treatments, infertility, never having given birth, and high blood pressure can all increase one’s risk. Even more concerning is the fact that there are few ways to effectively screen for uterine cancer.
Symptoms You Should Recognise
If you are having unusual bleeding, see your physician and consider having a biopsy performed. You may consider the bleeding unusual for any number of reasons, including how heavy it is or when it occurs. Bleeding post-menopause or between periods can be problematic, as well as period bleeding that goes on for an excessive amount of time.
Other symptoms which may indicate a cause for concern include difficulty passing urine, pain during sexual intercourse, and unexplained pelvic pain. Unusual pressure in one’s pelvic area may also be cause for concern. Unusual discharge, even without blood present, is another sign of potential uterine cancer.
If any of these symptoms lasts for over two weeks, or if you have already completed menopause, set up an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. While the symptoms described may have causes other than uterine cancer, the only way to be certain is to visit a GP.
Better Safe than Sorry
If the cause of your symptoms is something else, it may still be something that could negatively impact your health, fertility, or quality of life. You can also learn more about uterine cancer from your doctor, at the same time.
When Is Uterine Cancer Most Common?
Typically, uterine cancer occurs in women during the later period of their lives. Post-menopausal women are much more likely to develop uterine cancer, considering other confounding factors.
How Is Testing for Uterine Cancer Accomplished?
Pre-screening isn’t simple, but tests can be used to determine whether or not you have uterine cancer. These tests are typically performed after a patient has already exhibited certain symptoms. A pelvic exam is usually the first step. If the doctor is unsuccessful in reaching a conclusion based on a pelvic exam, there are other options to pursue as well.
Imaging tests and biopsies may be used, either consecutively or during the same visit, to reach a conclusive result.
How Is Uterine Cancer Treated?
Uterine cancer, like many other cancers, can be addressed by removing the cancer itself, or by removing the non-essential organ from which the cancer originated. This can mean removing the uterus itself, or removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. Removal of the uterus is called a “hysterectomy.”
Surgical intervention is not the only option. Hormone therapy can sometimes halt the spread of uterine cancer, or even reverse it. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also used, sometimes in conjunction with other treatments.
Most patients’ doctors recommend a combination of treatments for the most effective results.
Reducing Your Risk
While uterine cancer can occur even in those without known risk factors, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Stay physically active and keep your body weight within a healthy range. Use birth control pills. If you are taking oestrogen, you should also be taking progesterone.