Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting, vaginal discharge, difficulty or pain emptying the bladder, pain during sex and pain in the pelvic area are all symptoms of uterine cancer, according to MedicineNet. Abnormal bleeding may be blood-streaked or watery at first, gradually containing more blood.
Doctors diagnose uterine cancer based on a variety of tests, including a pelvic exam to look for changes in the size or shape of the uterus or the presence of lumps, notes MedicineNet. The doctor may also order an ultrasound examination to look for uterine tumors or a biopsy to remove a tissue sample to look for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only definitive test for determining the presence of uterine cancer, as of 2015.
A pathologist looks at the tissue sample obtained during the biopsy to determine if cancer is present, and if so, the grade of the cancer, advises MedicineNet. This helps the doctor understand how fast the cancer may grow and spread, which is important in determining the best treatment plan.
Treatment options for uterine cancer vary based on the stage of the tumor, its location and grade, and the patient’s overall health and age, notes MedicineNet. Some options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.