image

Uterine cancer is on the rise – do you know the symptoms to look out for?

When it comes to breast cancer, we all know that we should be checking our for changes in size, unusual lumps and dimpling to the skin – but do you know what to look out for when it comes to uterine cancer?

Despite being the fourth most common cancer for women in the UK, it’s one of the less talked about, meaning many write off the warning signs as something innocuous.

Now new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US reveal that uterine cancer diagnoses and deaths are alarmingly on the rise, despite major progress made against most other types of cancer.

View this post on Instagram

Quick #reminder of the five #gynae cancers: womb, ovarian, cervical, vaginal and vulval. More than 21,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with a gynae cancer each year. That’s 58 women each day — and 21 of them will die. Too often, women tell us that the first time they’d ever heard of a gynae cancer was when they were sitting in a doctor’s office being diagnosed with one. This has to change. Visit eveappeal.org.uk/gynaecological-cancers to read up on the signs and symptoms, so that you’re armed with the knowledge to know when to visit a doctor. #gynaehealth #health #gynaecancer #cancer #womenshealth #women #health #womenswellbeing #wellbeing #wombcancer #ovariancancer #cervicalcancer #vaginalcancer #vulvalcancer #knowyourbody #loveyourbody #selfcare

A post shared by The Eve Appeal (@eveappeal) on

Incidence rates are rising fastest among black women, and the report found that black women were “approximately twice as likely to die from uterine cancer” compared with women in other racial and ethnic groups.

Uterine cancer, also called endometrial or womb cancer, starts in the lining of the uterus, but can spread to other parts of the reproductive system including the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina and vulva.

It’s not known exactly what causes womb cancer, although the NHS reports that a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition, such as age, oestrogen levels after the menopause, being overweight and your reproductive history.

Women who take tamoxifen – a hormone treatment for breast cancer– can be at an increased risk of developing womb cancer too.

Here, we explain some of the signs and symptoms to look out for…

1. Abnormal bleeding

Woman's hand holding a clean cotton tampon

Uterine cancer is most common in women over the age of 55, and the biggest warning sign that you might be affected is post-menopausal bleeding.

If you’ve been through the menopause, any vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal, so it’s a big sign that something might not be right. Experts say that the bleeding may begin as a watery, progressing into a heavier flow. Only 1 in 10 cases of vaginal bleeding after the menopause are caused by womb cancer, but it’s better to get it checked out, for your own peace of mind.

Uterine cancer can also strike women who have not been through the menopause, so they need to look out for any unusual vaginal bleeding, such as periods that are heavier than usual or vaginal bleeding in between normal periods.

The majority of women diagnosed with uterine cancer (about 90%) experience abnormal vaginal bleeding, which should be a red flag to anyone.

2. Unusual discharge

Underwear on a line

Some amount of vaginal discharge is normal between periods, but if the amount, colour or smell changes, it could be a sign that something’s up.

Once you’ve gone through the menopause though, discharge isn’t common after your periods stop for good, so it’s always worth telling a doctor if you’re still seeing some.

3. Pain during sex

A less common symptom of uterine cancer is pain in the lower abdomen (tummy) and pain during sex. Unlike cervical cancer, tests like pelvic exams and smear tests don’t easily detect this type of cancer, so it’s worth taking note of any subtle changes in your body.

4. Back pain 

Woman suffering from back ache on the bed

Not every woman with uterine cancer will experience pain, but if the cancer progresses to a later stage without treatment, it’s more likely you will. Usually the pressure will be felt in the back and the pelvis, as the uterus may have become enlarged due to the cancer.

5. Loss of appetite and fatigue

Other symptoms to look out for are changes to your appetite and your energy levels, but as these symptoms are subtle, it can be difficult to pin point.

The NHS stresses to see a GP if you’re concerned about uterine cancer – particularly if you have bleeding after the menopause or notice a change in the normal pattern of your period.

View this post on Instagram

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. If you find yourself experiencing any abnormal bleeding — such as in between periods, after sex or after menopause — get it checked out with your GP. . The most common symptom of womb cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding – especially for women who have been through the menopause. Around 90% of womb cancer diagnoses are reported due to post-menopausal or irregular vaginal bleeding. . It’s also important to look out for unusual vaginal discharge, which may be blood-stained or a brownish colour. . Most people who experience the above symptoms will not have a gynaecological cancer. But we urge you to get it checked nonetheless. When diagnosed early, womb cancer can often be cured by surgery alone, without the need for chemotherapy. . For more information on womb cancer, visit eveappeal.org.uk. . #women #health #womenshealth #gynae #gynaehealth #endometrial #cancer #womb #wombcancer #wellbeing #womenswellbeing #uterine #uterinecancer #bleeding #periods #menopause #abnormalbleeding

A post shared by The Eve Appeal (@eveappeal) on

Surgery (hysterctomy) is often the main treatment for womb cancer.
This is sometimes followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy to try to kill any possible remaining cancer cells, depending on the stage and grade of the cancer.


Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own – about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example – you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have– whenever you need us, 24 hours a day, every day.

Please get in touch with us now. Click below to submit your question online.
ASK THE EXPERT

The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Glorious
7th Dec 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
How many silversurfers have Trigeminal neuralgia. I suffer with this condition, but no-one has heard of it till diagnosed. There is not a drug for it, so we are prescribed drugs for epilepsy and have to deal with the side effects which can be quite extreme.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!