Q:

Is thickening of the uterus the only early symptom of uterine cancer?

A:

Quick Answer

Symptoms of uterine, or endometrial, cancer also include bleeding between periods, pelvic pain, bleeding after menopause, pain during intercourse, and an unusual discharge that is watery or blood-tinged, according to Mayo Clinic. Women who are worried about these symptoms should consult a doctor.

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Full Answer

Endometrial cancer occurs in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, and can cause the lining to thicken. Other types of cancer occur in the uterus, including uterine sarcoma, but endometrial cancer is by far the most prevalent type, Mayo Clinic reports.

The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding for which most women seek treatment. This cancer is usually caught early enough that the surgical removal of the uterus cures it, Mayo Clinic explains.

Several factors can determine who is most likely to get endometrial cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women who have a family history of ovarian, uterine or colon cancer are more at risk. Other factors include being over age 50, obesity with a high amount of body fat, and taking estrogen without progesterone for hormone replacement during menopause. Women who have trouble getting pregnant or who have had five periods or less in a year are at greater risk. Breast cancer patients who take the drug tamoxifen may also have a greater chance for developing endometrial cancer.

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