Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs. Sometimes called uterine cancer, it affects the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus. If caught early, endometrial cancer has a good chance of cure.
The best defense against endometrial cancer is to know the symptoms, see your gynecologist for recommended checkups, and be aware of any risk factors. Being knowledgeable about the disease and seeing your physician regularly can increase your chances of catching endometrial cancer early, when it is most treatable. Here are some important facts to know:
- Most cases of endometrial cancer occur in women who have gone through menopause (age 55 and up).
- Irregular bleeding is the most common symptom. This may include bleeding after menopause, bleeding between periods, or an abnormal vaginal discharge that may contain blood. Some women also have pelvic pain or pain during intercourse.
- Higher levels of estrogen increase your risk. Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), are overweight, have diabetes, and who take estrogen after menopause may have an increased risk.
- Women who take birth control pills for a year or more have a lower risk of getting endometrial cancer. Talk with your gynecologist about your birth control options.
- Treatment typically involves removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), which can provide a cure in many cases. Some women also require radiation, chemotherapy, and medications that reduce estrogen levels in the body.
- A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and working toward a healthy weight, may reduce your risk of getting endometrial cancer.
Knowing your body, taking charge of your health, and seeing your gynecologist regularly are the best ways to detect endometrial cancer and other health issues early. If you are concerned about a symptom or haven’t seen your gynecologist in a year or more, it’s time to call and make an appointment. Your health and life are worth the time and effort.
CarePoint Health Gynecological Oncology
Our gynecological oncology department at CarePoint Health provides compassionate, expert care for women with cancer of the reproductive organs. For more information about the comprehensive women’s services we provide, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.