What is uterine cancer?
Cancer of the uterus (uterine cancer) is cancer in the womb, where a baby grows during a woman’s pregnancy. But uterine cancer usually happens after menopause. Some women who get uterine cancer have certain risk factors, or things in their life that cause them to have a higher chance of getting this disease.
Several factors may increase the chance that you will get uterine cancer, including if you:
- Are older than 50.
- Are obese (have an abnormally high, unhealthy amount of body fat).
- Take estrogen by itself (without progesterone) for hormone replacement during menopause.
- Have had trouble getting pregnant, or have had fewer than five periods in a year before starting menopause.
- Take tamoxifen, a drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer.
- Have close family members who have had uterine, colon or ovarian cancer.
If one or more of these things is true for you, it does not mean you will get uterine cancer. But you should speak with your doctor to see if he or she recommends more frequent exams.
Uterine cancer may cause vaginal discharge or bleeding that is not normal for you. Bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is or when it happens, such as after you have gone through menopause, between periods, or any other bleeding that is longer or heavier than is normal for you. Uterine cancer may also cause other symptoms, such as pain or pressure in your pelvis.
If you have bleeding that is not normal for you, especially if you have already gone through menopause, see a doctor right away. Also see a doctor if you have any other signs or symptoms for two weeks or longer. These things may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor.
Uterine cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of uterine cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
- Surgery: Doctors remove cancer tissue in an operation.
- Radiation: Using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill the cancer.
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing. Hormones are substances made by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream.
- Chemotherapy: Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
Content Source: CDC