Uterine cancer accounts for approximately 15% of all cancers in women. In 2005 there were approximately 80,000 women who were diagnosed with a pelvic gynecological malignancy or cancer. Many of those cancers are uterine and 95% of uterine cancers are endometrial.
Fortunately endometrial uterine cancers are very treatable and often curable. Treatments include surgical options, radiation, chemotherapy and medications. Treatment protocols will depend
Before treatment however, comes recognition that there is a problem and a diagnosis from the physician. The most common uterine cancer symptom is postmenopausal bleeding. Most women recognize this as a sign that there might be something wrong and seek medical attention. The good news is that only 10-20% of women suffering from postmenopausal bleeding actually have a malignant growth.
Prompt evaluation of abnormal bleeding will often result in diagnosis at Stage I of the disease and a very treatable and potentially curable condition.
Uterine cancer is defined as any neoplasm, or abnormal growth of cells, that resides in the uterus. Endometrial cancer is primarily a cancer of postmenopausal women.
Risk factors for endometrial cancer include obesity, no children or infertility, late menopause, unopposed estrogen, diabetes, hypertension, high dietary animal fat, and radiation therapy.
As a woman ages the chances that postmenopausal bleeding is a malignancy increases. Other common symptoms of uterine cancer include painful urination or sexual intercourse and pain in the pelvic region.
Women may also present with other symptoms that include drainage from the vagina that is purulent which means that the drainage contains pus, a thick opaque drainage of dead cells and tissue that usually signifies infection. Other symptoms of more advanced disease include pain, weight loss, and a change in bladder and bowel habits.
Incidentally less than 5% of the cases of women with endometrial cancer are diagnosed prior to having any symptoms having been picked up during an annual physical examination. On the other hand cervical cancer is picked up early using a PAP smear. Women with atypical cells on their Pap smear after menopause should be screened for a uterine malignancy.
Uterine cancer symptoms are those that should be recognized by all women who have not had a previous hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. Caught during Stage I or II this cancer is often treatable and potentially curable.
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