What are the symptoms of uterine cancer?
The most common symptom of uterine cancer is unusual vaginal bleeding, whether it’s between periods or after menopause. In some cases, the bleeding may look like watery and pink vaginal discharge.
If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Difficulty urinating.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Pain while urinating.
- Pelvic pain.
- Unexplained weight loss.
How is uterine cancer diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects you have uterine cancer, he or she will conduct a physical exam, which may also include a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history as well as your family medical history.
After the physical exam, your doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or transvaginal ultrasound.
If imaging tests indicate cancer may be present, your care team will take a sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrial biopsy). The tissue is then sent to a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.
We may also do a hysteroscopy to help with the diagnosis. During this procedure, we insert a thin, lighted tube into the uterus. The tube has a camera on the end that allows us to see into the uterus and check for signs of cancer.
Sometimes, the diagnosis is still not clear after these tests and procedures. If that is the case, your doctor may recommend a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) to remove tissue from inside the uterus.
During D&C, your doctor will use an instrument to widen (dilate) the cervix and then use a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to scrape the lining of the uterus and cervical canal, removing the suspicious tissue.
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