WHAT IS UTERINE CANCER?
A cancerous growth of the endometrium.
SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED
Post- menopausal women, usually between ages 50 and 60.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Post menopausal bleeding or spotting, especially after sexual intercourse.
This often occurs after menstrual activity has ceased for 12 months or more. A watery or
blood-streaked vaginal discharge may precede bleeding or spotting.
- Cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Enlarged uterus. It is sometimes large enough to be felt
- Spread to other organs causing abdominal pain, chest pain
and weight loss.
Unknown. But may be due to increased levels of natural
estrogen in the body
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Diabetes mellitus.
- High blood pressure.
- Use of estrogen without progesterone.
- Family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
- History of menstrual cycles without ovulation, uterine
polyps or other signs of hormone imbalance.
- Early menarche
- Late menopause
HOW TO PREVENT
- See your doctor for pelvic examinations/Pap smear every 6 to 12 months.
- Obtain medical care, immediately, for any bleeding PV or
spotting after menopause. It could be sinister!
- Observation of symptoms, especially abnormal bleeding.
- History and examination by a doctor.
- Laboratory blood studies and Pap smear
(although this is only 40% accurate in detecting this condition).
- Surgical diagnostic procedures, such as uterine biopsy or dilatation and curettage, hysteroscopy.
- Fatal spread of cancer to the bladder, rectum and distant
- Anemia due to chronic blood loss.
With early diagnosis and treatment, 90% of patients
survive at least 5 years.
In early stages of the disease your doctor may recommend
hysterectomy. If in an advanced stage, radiation therapy will be required in addition to
Your doctor may prescribe:
- Anticancer drugs, including cortisone drugs.
- Hormone therapy.
Normal activities can be resumed as soon as symptoms
improve after treatment. Discuss concerns regarding sexual activity with your partner and
doctor. In most cases, full sexual activity after therapy should be resumed as soon as
No special diet, but eat a well-balanced diet--even if
you lose your appetite from radiation or drug therapy. Vitamin and mineral supplements are
helpful but should never be taken without doctors consent as some vitamins may nullify
effects of anti cancer drugs. Work with a dietitian to plan nutritious and appetizing
CALL YOUR DOCTOR, IF
- You have suspicious symptoms.
- The following occurs after surgery:
- Excessive bleeding (soaking a pad or tampoon at least once
- Signs of infection, such as fever, muscle aches and
- New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment
may produce side effects.