Though uterine cancer's cause is unknown, there are many factors that will put a woman at risk, including being over age 50, having endometrial hyperplasia, using hormone replacement therapy, obesity, using tamoxifen, being Caucasian, and/or having colorectal cancer. Symptoms and signs of cancer of the uterus (endometrial cancer) include abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful urination, painful intercourse, and pelvic pain. Treatment depends on staging and may include radiation therapy or hormone therapy. Read more: Uterine Cancer Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Cancer Risk Factors
Though it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix)
Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular pelvic exams, Pap testing and screening can detect precancerous changes in the cervix. Cervical cancer can be prevented by a vaccine. The most common signs and symptoms are an increase in vaginal discharge, painful sex, and postmenopausal bleeding. The prognosis and survival rate depends upon the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed.
Colon cancer (bowel cancer) is a malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from colonic polyps. Removal of these precancerous polyps can prevent colon cancer.
Endometriosis implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They also can be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder. Endometriosis may not produce any symptoms, but when it does the most common symptom is pelvic pain that worsens just prior to menstruation and improves at the end of the menstrual period. Other symptoms of endometriosis include pain during sex, pain with pelvic examinations, cramping or pain during bowel movements or urination, and infertility. Treatment of endometriosis can be with medication or surgery.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Normal vaginal bleeding (menorrhea) occurs through the process of menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding. Causes of abnormal may arise from a variety of conditions that may include, uterine fibroids, IUDs, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, lupus, STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, emotional stress, anorexia nervosa, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancers, early pregnancy.
Uterine Fibroids (Benign Tumors of the Uterus)
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the womb (uterus). Most uterine fibroids do not cause symptoms; however, if the fibroid is large enough and in the right location, it may cause symptoms of pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and pressure on the bladder or rectum. Uterine fibroids that remain small and do not grow usually do not need treatment; however, surgery to remove the fibroid may be necessary. Uterine fibroids do not cause cancer; however, there is a rare, fast-growing cancerous called leiomyosarcoma.
Benign uterine growths are tissue enlargements of the female womb (uterus). Three types of benign uterine growths are uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, and uterine polyps. Symptoms include abdominal pressure and pain, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, and pain during bowel movements. Diagnosis and treatment of benign uterine growths depends upon the type of growth.
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Most often, caregivers take care of other adults who are ill or disabled. Less often, caregivers are grandparents raising their grandchildren. The majority of caregivers are middle-aged women. Caregiving can be very stressful, so it's important to recognize when it's putting to much strain on you and to take steps to prevent/relieve stress.
Endometrial Cancer Prevention
Endometrial cancer, or uterine cancer, affects the endometrium of the uterus. It's the most common invasive cancer of the female reproductive system. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, taking estrogen-only hormone therapy, early menstruation, late menopause, and never being pregnant.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).
Menstruation (Menstrual Cycle)
Menstruation (menstrual cycle) is also referred to as a "period." When a woman menstruates, the lining of the uterus is shed. This shedding of the uterine linking is the menstrual blood flow. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. There can be problems with a woman's period, including heavy bleeding, pain, or skipped periods. Causes of these problems may be amenorrhea (lack of a period), menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), or abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding. There are a variety of situations in which a girl or woman should see a doctor about her menstrual cycle.
Internal bleeding occurs when an artery or vein is damaged and blood to escapes the circulatory system and collects inside the body. Internal bleeding can be caused by a variety of situations such as blunt trauma, deceleration trauma, medications, fractures, and spontaneous bleeding. Treatment of internal bleeding depends on the cause of the bleeding.
Lymphedema is a condition in which one or more extremities become swollen as the result of an impaired flow of the lymphatic system. There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Filariasis is the most common cause of lymphedema worldwide. In the U.S., breast cancer surgery is the most common cause. Symptoms include swelling of one or more limbs, cracked and thickening skin, and secondary bacterial or fungal infections of the skin. There is no cure for lymphedema.
Tumor grade is a system used to classify cancer cells in how likely the tumor is to grow and how abnormal they look under a microscope. Tumor grade is not the same as tumor stage. A biopsy is taken to determine if the tumor is benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Pelvic Pain (in Women and Men)
Pelvic pain is described as pain, usually in the lower pelvic area. Causes of acute and chronic pelvic pain in women include endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, tumors, or fibroids, ovulation, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or congestion syndrome, vulva pain, and rarely cancer. Pelvic pain during pregnancy may be caused by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy), preterm or premature labor, and placental abruption. Causes of pelvic pain in men include prostate problems, testicular pain, and groin pain. Causes of pelvic pain in men and women include kidney stones, appendicitis, UTIs, IBD, and STDs. Signs and symptoms associated with pelvic pain depend on the cause, but man include pain during or after sexual intercourse, abdominal pain, distension, and tenderness, diarrhea, constipation, vaginal discharge or bleeding, blood, pus, in the urine, cloudy urine, blood in the stool, stool color changes, and low back pain. The cause of pelvic pain is diagnosed by a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging procedures. Treatment for pelvic pain depends on the cause.
Spotting vs. Period
Menstruation (a female's "period") occurs due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding lasts about three to five days, and the bleeding is heavy the first couple of days and then it lessens. Spotting is vaginal bleeding between periods.
Is Uterus Cancer Fatal?
Uterine cancer is not fatal when it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Generally, a 5-year survival rate for patients in stage 1 of uterine cancer is 90%. However, the 5-year survival rate can vary depending on the extent to which the cancer has spread.
Local ResourcesFind a local Oncologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Screening Tests for Cancer
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Pap Smear
- Questions To Ask Before Surgery
- Endometrial Biopsy (Procedure)
- Radiation Therapy
- CA 125 Ovarian Tumor Marker Blood Test
- Hormone Therapy
- Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH)
- Dilation and Curettage (D and C)
- Hormonal Methods of Birth Control
- Endometrial Ablation
- HPV Test
- Advance Medical Directives
- Burning Urination (Dysuria)
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Vaginal Discharge
- Painful Intercourse
- Pelvic Pain
- Uterine Cancer (Endometrial Cancer)
Medications & Supplements
- medroxyprogesterone - oral, Provera
- tamoxifen (Soltamox, Nolvadex)
- Birth Control Pills (List of Oral Contraceptives and Side Effects)
- medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera)
- fentanyl patch (Duragesic)
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- granisetron transdermal system (patch), Sancuso
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- Dilaudid vs. Fentanyl (Pain Strength Comparison and Side Effects)
- Proleukin (aldesleukin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
Prevention & Wellness
- FDA Approves Padcev for Treatment of Advanced Urothelial Cancer
- Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
- Obamacare May Have Helped More Women Spot Cancer Early
- Early Success in Artificial Ovary Research
- U.S. Cancer Death Rate Continues to Fall
- Weight Loss Tied to Lower Risk of Uterine Cancer
- Tamoxifen OK for Breast Cancer Patients Without Uterine Abnormalities: Study
- Excess Weight Tied to Higher Risk for Many Cancers, Experts Say
- Gene Tied to Breast Cancer Raises Uterine Cancer Risk Too
- First Uterus Transplant Planned in U.S.
- Black Women Less Likely to Survive Uterine Cancer, Study Finds
- Birth Control Pills May Cut Women's Odds for Uterine Cancer
- Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Odds of Uterine Cancer
- Coffee Linked to Possible Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk
- Cluster of Heart Risk Factors Tied to Uterine Cancer Risk
- Bone Drugs May Protect Against Endometrial Cancer
- Technique Used in Some Hysterectomies May Help Spread Cancer: Study
- 'Generally Reassuring' Findings on Fertility Drugs, Women's Cancers
- Soy Foods Don't Seem to Protect Against Uterine Cancer: Researchers
- For Women's Cancers, Where You're Treated Matters
- Drug Arimidex Cuts Risk for Breast Cancer in Older, High-Risk Women: Study
- Sodas, Other Sweet Drinks Tied to Higher Risk for Endometrial Cancer
- FDA OKs Drug to Treat Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women
- Nearly 60 Percent of Uterine Cancer Cases Preventable: Report
- Pap Test to Detect Ovarian, Endometrial Cancers?
- Keeping Fit May Boost Survival With Endometrial Cancer
- Hormone Therapy in Early Menopause May Benefit Some Women: Study
- Childbirth After 30 Lowers Risk of Endometrial Cancer: Study
- Medical Groups Agree on Use of Hormone-Replacement Therapy
- Long-Term Estrogen Therapy Does Up Breast Cancer Risk: Study
- Estrogen After Hysterectomy Lowers Cancer Risk?
- New Guidelines to Help Breast Cancer Survivors
- Research Sheds Light on Gene Mutation's Role in Rare Tumors
- Coffee May Cut Endometrial Cancer Risk
- Estrogen-Only HRT Not So Risky in 50s
- Exercise Recommended for Cancer Patients
- Removing Lymph Nodes May Boost Endometrial Cancer Survival
- Obesity Greatly Raises Endometrial Cancer Risk
- Ovary Removal May Not Be Needed in Endometrial Cancer