Endometrial cancer is often called uterine cancer or cancer of the uterus. After breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, uterine cancer is the next most common to affect women. Older adults, as well as those with obesity, women who have never given birth, and those who went through menopause at 52 years or older are at the greatest risk of developing endometrial cancer. The symptoms of endometrial cancer primarily involve the reproductive organs.
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Irregular vaginal bleeding is that which occurs outside the menstrual cycle, and this abnormal bleeding can signify various conditions. Though endometrial cancer is far from the only explanation, it is a very common symptom of the condition and given the seriousness of such a diagnosis, a woman who experiences heavy bleeding outside of their period window should see a doctor.
Vaginal Bleeding After Menopause
Bleeding after menopause can be caused by various factors; the blood vessels that line the uterus may become fragile and break due to reduced levels of estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy can also cause vaginal bleeding. Endometrial cancer can cause this symptom, as well. Whether this or another condition is the cause of the bleeding, it is important to take vaginal bleeding after menopause seriously. The symptom may indicate an abnormality in the uterus, cervix, or pelvis.
Bleeding Between Periods
Intermenstrual bleeding is that which occurs between regular periods. Women who are not taking a contraceptive pill or implant but who have a regular cycle may occasionally experience spotting. This is generally because of a variance in their ovulation cycle or other menstrual issues. Though this symptom is not always serious, significant bleeding between periods could indicate an underlying problem and should be investigated by a medical practitioner.
The cause of pelvic pain is often hard to determine from the outside. Uncomfortable or painful sensations may begin in the area under the belly button and may be dull or acute, continuous or recurrent. Pelvic pain a woman cannot trace to the days before or during her period could indicate a more serious issue.
Vaginal discharge after menopause could be a symptom of endometrial cancer. This discharge is usually thin and white or clear, but can also be pink or light brown. A burning sensation in and around the vagina may accompany the discharge. Women at all stages of life should take note of changes in the color, amount, or scent of discharge, and see a doctor if the changes do not revert.
Difficulty and Pain Urinating
Dysuria is the clinical term for pain during urination. These symptoms can be a result of various conditions, including urinary tract infections. Any feeling of urgency to urinate, pain when urinating with a burning feeling, or feeling like the bladder has not completely emptied should be discussed with a doctor. A cancerous tumor in the uterus or cervix can place pressure on the internal organs, causing these urinary symptoms.
When weight loss occurs suddenly without a conscious undertaking of diet or fitness adjustments, a medical condition is often the cause. Endometrial cancer can lead to weight loss when the individual loses her appetite, experiences excess stress or anxiety, or if she chooses to eat less to avoid the pain of urination or bowel movements.
Pain During Sexual Intercourse
Most instances of pain during intercourse point to a medical event or condition that should be examined, and could, in rare instances, be an early sign of cancer in the cervix or uterus. It is important to take note of the pain if it occurs outside of intercourse, as this may indicate a different diagnosis.
Abdominal Pain and Discomfort
Uterine cancer will often cause abdominal pain and cramping, leading to sensations similar to indigestion or bloating. Pressure is an important symptom to identify. Pressure can come from the uterus lining swelling or from tumor cells that grow and take over the uterine lining, pushing into the uterus and cervix. Bloating is a normal part of menstruation, but if it continues for a week or more beyond one’s period, it could indicate a medical issue.
Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue is a symptom of many physical, mental, and emotional ailments. For this reason, it can often go overlooked by individuals who are used to its presence in their day-to-day lives. However, the symptoms may also indicate a more serious condition; fatigue that does not abate after a few weeks or after an obvious trigger has been removed should prompt medical examination. People with fatigue may also experience mood changes, aching or sore muscles, headaches, and dizziness as the body works to fight off the invading illness.