When cancer starts in the uterus, it is called uterine cancer.
The uterus is the pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis (the area below your stomach and in between your hip bones). The uterus, also called the womb, is where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The most common type of uterine cancer is also called endometrial cancer because it forms in the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium.
When uterine cancer is found early, treatment works best.
- Uterine cancer is more common in women over the age of 50. Therefore vaginal bleeding past the menopause ranging from spotting to more heavy bleeding is something that should not be ignored. This is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding. The bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is or when it happens, such as bleeding after you have gone through menopause; bleeding between periods; bleeding after sex; or any other bleeding that is longer or heavier than normal for you.
- Pain during or after sex
- Vaginal discharge that is not normal for you
- Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen/pelvis.
Not everyone with uterine cancer will have all of these symptoms and these symptoms can be caused by other conditions. But it is important to always have a check up with your doctor or gynaecologist if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Be aware that a PAP smear (cervical screening test) does not screen for uterine cancer.
Inside Knowledge campaign’s uterine cancer fact sheet [PDF-622KB]