Endometrial Cancer: 5 Symptoms Other Than Bleeding, Risk Factors, And Treatment
A lot of things can go wrong in a woman's body if she has an imbalance of female hormones. One of such things is endometrial cancer, a type of uterine (womb) cancer that develops in the endometrium (uterine lining).
Of all types of cancers that start in the female reproductive system, endometrial cancer is the most common one. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, endometrial cancer does show symptoms in its early stages, making timely detection and successful treatment more likely.
Symptoms of endometrial cancer
Unlike many other types of cancer, endometrial cancer can make its presence known early. The most common symptom of the disease is vaginal bleeding that isn't period.
Endometrial cancer is most commonly found in women who have gone through menopause, and any vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal. If you're postmenopausal and have vaginal bleeding, you should see your gynecologist. This symptom may be caused by a benign condition, but it requires treatment all the same.
Apart from vaginal bleeding, symptoms of endometrial cancer may also include the following:
- clear or whitish discharge (in postmenopausal women);
- periods that last too long;
- bleeding heavily during periods;
- pelvic pain;
- pain during intercourse.
Having these symptoms doesn't always indicate the presence of cancer, but they need to be checked by a doctor in any case.
Factors that increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Certain factors are known to elevate the risk of endometrial cancer. They include the following:
- being older than 50;
- excess estrogen and lack of progesterone;
- never having given birth;
- starting to have periods before age 12;
- later-onset menopause;
- being obese;
- undergoing hormone therapy to treat or prevent breast cancer;
- having diabetes;
- having poorly controlled high blood pressure.
Treatment of endometrial cancer
Surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) at an early stage of the disease can cure it. In some cases, other reproductive organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix) also have to be taken out. It's impossible to have children after the uterus is removed.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also often used to treat the disease and can be used in combination with surgery.
Another treatment for the disease is hormone therapy, but it may not work as well as other treatments.
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.