Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Uterus Cancer

Uterus cancer also referred to as uterine cancer or endometrial cancer is a type of cancer wherein abnormal or damaged cells multiply and grow into a malignant tumour in the uterus, specifically in the lining or endometrium of the uterus. This is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers in the United Kingdom with more than 35,000 women diagnosed every year.

Causes of Uterus Cancer

There are some women who have a bigger possibility of getting uterus cancer more than other women.  Studies have showed that the following are the usual causes of the disease:

  • Abnormal growth in the lining of the uterus, referred to as endometrial hyperplasia, can generate an abnormal increase in the number of cells that may develop into cancer.  This condition is very prevalent in women who are over 40 years old or those who are undergoing menopause.

  • Women who are overweight or are diagnosed with obesity have higher chances of acquiring uterus cancer due to the complications of having higher weight.

  • Women who have not been pregnant, women who had their first menstrual period before hitting 12 years old and women who experienced menopause after 55 years of age, all have higher risks of developing uterus cancer.

  • Having oestrogen therapy during menopause without taking progesterone with it for an extended period of time may also be the cause of uterus cancer.

  • Women who have family members who have been diagnosed with uterus cancer may also be at risk for developing the disease themselves.

Symptoms of Uterus Cancer

The first sign of uterus cancer is vaginal bleeding that is heavier and more abnormal than usual.  It may even just start with a watery flow to a thicker type of bloody discharge.  Also be sensitive for pain and difficulty when urinating as well as pain during sexual intercourse as these may be signs that there is presence of tumour in the uterus.  It is important to be aware of the sensations in your pelvis area to have early detection of uterus cancer.

Diagnosis of Uterus Cancer

You may undergo several tests in order to determine the existence of uterus cancer.  The doctor may check your uterus, vagina and other surrounding tissues during a pelvic exam to physically look for lumps or thickening of different areas.  An ultrasound procedure may also be ordered to look at any tumours that may have formed in the uterus.  If there are tumours detected, then a biopsy may be done by taking a sample of the tissue and have a pathologist examine it for abnormal cells.

Treatment of Uterus Cancer

Treating uterus cancer is possible but the success rate depends on the severity of the disease.  A uterus cancer patient may undergo surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.  The doctor will determine the best treatment program for the patient after looking at the size and grade of the tumour, if the tumour has spread to other parts of the body, and the general state of health and age of the patient.  It is still better to run routine tests periodically in order to detect signs of uterus cancer early.