of the Uterus (Womb)
is cancer of the uterus?
There are different types of cancer, which can
develop in the uterus (womb). The two main types of cancer of the womb are cancer
of the endometrium (the lining of the womb) and cancer of the cervix (the neck
of the womb). The term cancer of the uterus (womb) is usually taken to refer
only to cancer of the endometrium. See the section entitled Cancer of the cervix
(cervical cancer) for details of that condition.
The endometrium or lining builds up every month
and is then shed during a woman's period. This happens until the menopause.
Cancer may develop if there are changes in the cells of the endometrium in the
few years just before the menopause or in the years after.
This type of cancer is more commonly found in women
over the age of 50. It is estimated that only around 5% of endometrial cancer
cases occur in women under the age of 40.
Endometrial cancer occurs more commonly in women
who have never had children. However, taking the oral contraceptive pill lowers
the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
are the symptoms of cancer of the uterus?
The first sign is usually irregular bleeding from
the vagina or a blood-stained discharge. This is a critically important sign
in women after the menopause and must never be ignored.
In premenopausal women, cancer of the uterus may
make their periods heavier or more irregular.
Bleeding in between periods may also be a warning
If you have any form of vaginal bleeding other
than your normal period, you should consult your doctor without delay.
is cancer of the uterus treated?
In most cases, surgery to remove the womb (a hysterectomy)
will be required. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be required.
If the diagnosis is made reasonably early, the
outlook following surgery is usually excellent with a survival rate of over
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