What Are the Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer?
Some women with endometrial cancer have no symptoms until the disease has spread to other organs. But endometrial cancer is usually diagnosed by the appearance of symptoms -- like vaginal bleeding -- as the cancer begins to grow. The most likely symptoms are:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, which occurs in nine out of 10 women with endometrial cancer. Before menopause, this means unusually heavy irregular menstrual periods or bleeding between periods. After a woman enters menopause, this means any vaginal bleeding, unless she is on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Even though HRT may cause vaginal bleeding in postmenopausal women, the first episodes of any such bleeding should be checked by a doctor to make sure that it is not due to endometrial cancer. However, only 15% of women with postmenopausal bleeding will have endometrial cancer.
- Vaginal discharge that may range from pink and watery to thick, brown, and foul smelling.
- Difficult or painful urination.
- An enlarged uterus, detectable during a pelvic exam.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Unexpected weight loss.
- Weakness and pain in the lower abdomen, back, or legs. This happens when the cancer has spread to other organs.
Call Your Doctor About Endometrial Cancer If:
You experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge. Abnormal bleeding, though sometimes a symptom of perimenopause (pre-menopause), should be brought to your doctor's attention immediately. Endometrial cancer usually doesn't occur before menopause, but it can appear around the time menopause begins and during the menopausal transition.