The most common symptom of uterine (endometrial) cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which occurs in more than 90 percent of women with endometrial cancer, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Other common symptoms include difficulty or pain urinating, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and unexplained weight loss.
Endometrial cancer most commonly occurs after a woman enters menopause. Some vaginal bleeding is common in menopause, particularly if the woman is taking hormone therapy, but abnormal or irregular vaginal bleeding in menopause can be a symptom of uterine cancer, says WebMD. Vaginal bleeding can range from watery and blood-streaked discharge to a flow that contains more blood, says Cancer.Net. It is also possible for a woman to receive a diagnosis of endometrial cancer and not experience any symptoms.
Doctors can diagnose endometrial cancer through a variety of tests depending on patient factors, such as patient age, symptoms, the type of cancer suspected and previous test results, according to Cancer.Net. Diagnostic tests can include a pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, a CT scan and an MRI. A biopsy of the uterus is the only definitive way of diagnosing endometrial cancer. Doctors use imaging techniques to determine if the cancer has spread or in cases in which a biopsy cannot be performed.