Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer and is the easiest to diagnose. Approximately, 40,100 women will be diagnosed annually. If caught early, over 90% of women with this cancer survive five years. Once spread to other organs, this 5 year survival rate drops to 64%. In 2008, approximately 7,470 American women died from endometrial cancer.
Carcinoma refers to cancer that begins in tissues that form linings throughout the body. The endometrium is the lining of the inside of the uterus. Endometrial carcinoma is a cancer that forms from the inner lining of the uterus. It is generally referred to simply as endometrial cancer. Other kinds of cancer can form in the uterus as well. These are called uterine sarcomas.
Endometrial cancer usually takes years to develop. It most often occurs in women who have already gone through menopause.
Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge. At first, the bleeding may appear watery with a small amount of blood in it. After a while, the bleeding may appear less watery with more blood in it.
- Vaginal bleeding after you have already gone through menopause.
- Pain when urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain in the pelvic area or lower abdomen.
Many of these signs may be signs of other health problems, so it is important to speak with your doctor right away to find out for sure.
In addition, please note that some women who have endometrial cancer are going through menopause. During this time, a woman stops having menstrual periods. Often, menopausal women do not tell their doctor about unusual vaginal bleeding because they believe it is a symptom of menopause. However, it is important for you to always tell your doctor about any vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you, even during menopause.
Source: Women’s Cancer Network, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation; American Cancer Society
For more information see:
Gynecologic Cancer Foundation: www.wcn.org
American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/endometrial