The signs of uterine cancer are often similar to those found in other gynaecological cancers. In the early stages, you may not notice any signs or symptoms but, as the cancer advances, some common symptoms that may appear are:
In stage 3 and stage 4 uterine cancer (advanced stages), additional symptoms may also be observed when the cancer cells have migrated to other parts of the body.
Visit your GP if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
If you are at risk for developing uterine cancer and are experiencing symptoms that may be indicative of it, your doctor may prescribe a few diagnostic tests that include:
Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by performing a thorough pelvic examination.
The ultrasound device is inserted through the vagina to enable your doctor to visualise the inner lining of the uterus for any abnormal changes.
This is a blood test that detects the levels of proteins like CA-125 ( a tumour marker). An increased level of this protein may be indicative of cancer.
Imaging tests like an x-ray, CT scan and MRI may be done to assess the location of any growth or presence of cancer cells in the uterus, nearby regions or if it has spread to distant parts of the body.
A long, thin tube with a camera at its tip is inserted into the uterus via the cervix to give a detailed view of the inner part of the uterus.
If your other diagnostic tests indicate an abnormality in the uterus, a biopsy may be performed to confirm uterine cancer. The sample collected during a biopsy is also sent for further analysis to determine the stage and grade of your cancer.
Based on your symptoms and diagnostic test results, your doctor and healthcare team will determine how to treat uterine cancer in your body. Though most people are worried about the side effects of radiation therapy or chemotherapy and uterine cancer, it is best to speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of your suggested treatment options.
Most people with uterine cancer require surgery to remove the uterus. However, the decision to perform surgery depends upon your age and overall health.
Other uterine cancer treatment options are: