Uterine cancer usually doesn’t have very obvious symptoms, so it’s important that you are familiar with your body, and what is normal for you. Dr. Tashanna Myers, a gynecologic oncologist with the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, offers eight things all women should know about this often deadly type of cancer.
- The most common uterine cancer is endometrial cancer, and it is the most common gynecologic cancer. (The endometrium is the lining of your uterus.) It’s the 4th leading cancer in US women.
- Uterine cancer usually occurs around the time of menopause, but younger women also are at risk.
- The Pap test only screens for cervical cancer and DOES NOT screen for uterine cancer.
- Risk factors include: obesity, never being pregnant, late menopause, high blood pressure, family history, diabetes, use of estrogen without progesterone, use of tamoxifen (benefits outweigh risks).
- Symptoms include post-menopausal bleeding, or for younger women, bleeding between periods.
- Even brown spotting or a single spot of blood from the vagina is abnormal after menopause and should lead to a prompt gynecologic evaluation.
- There is no screening for uterine cancer, so knowledge and quick action when you experience symptoms is essential.
- If you have an endometrial biopsy that shows endometrial cancer, seek care from a gynecologic oncologist.