DURATION: 30 minutes or less.
ANAESTHESIA/PAIN RELIEF: Available if a biopsy is required.
RECOVERY TIME: Up to a few weeks following a biopsy.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: None
SUITABLE FOR: Women seeking a diagnosis for abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain.
Also known as womb or uterine cancer, endometrial cancer describes a form of cancer that originates in the uterus. As a medical condition that is believed to be linked to menstruation and the hormones associated with this process, the development of endometrial cancer can be attributed to the hormone imbalance that can be triggered by going through the menopause, and is said to occur more frequently in those with a longer history of menstruation and more usually affect women with underlying health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
How else can endometrial cancer develop?
Although speculated to more regularly affect those who have suffered from chronic irregular and heavy periods throughout their lives, research suggests that there are a number of other crucial risk factors in the development of endometrial cancer. These factors include obesity, not having children and certain forms of hormone therapy. Age is also said to be a major factor, with very few cases of endometrial cancer being diagnosed in women who are less than 40 years of age.
What are the symptoms of endometrial cancer?
Taking its name from the endometrium, or the womb lining, the main symptoms of endometrial cancer normally revolve around abnormal bleeding. As the menstrual patterns of every woman can differ, it’s important to remember that what qualifies as abnormal to one person will be completely normal for the next. In these instances, abnormal bleeding can describe everything from unusually heavy periods, bleeding between periods and bleeding after intercourse. If you’ve come through the menopause, all vaginal bleeding should be treated as abnormal.
Screening for endometrial cancer
There are several screening tests that can be performed to determine the presence of endometrial cancer. A hysteroscopy, a procedure in which your womb is looked at in more detail with the aid of a surgical telescope, can be an important method of diagnosis. During this investigation, it’s also common for a sample of cells to be taken from your endometrium and sent on to a laboratory for further testing. It may also be necessary to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound scan, or TVS. This will allow your gynaecologist to gain a clearer view of your womb and determine whether the thickness of its lining has come about as a result of the presence of cancerous cells.
Following these tests, it is possible for you to obtain a clear diagnosis for your symptoms. In the event that you are diagnosed with endometrial cancer, you will be advised on what to do next.
Dr Francis Gardner
Known for his ceaseless dedication to the health, happiness and wellbeing of all of his patients, Dr Francis Gardner is a gynaecologist with a difference. As a veteran in this area of specialism, he has helped many women achieve clear and accurate diagnoses for a number of gynaecological conditions and supported them throughout their journey to recovery. To book in for your endometrial screening test, please get in touch today.
No. There are many reasons for abnormal bleeding, and these can vary in seriousness. Endometrial cancer is therefore important in ruling out anything sinister and can help you access the treatment you need as quickly as possible.
In addition to abnormal bleeding, pelvic and back pain, tiredness and nausea can also be symptomatic of endometrial cancer.
Possibly. Once your periods have ended, there should be no reason for you to experience vaginal bleeding, so it’s worth monitoring this bleeding and getting it checked out as soon as you can.
Your results will be with you in as little as a week and will be discussed with you in confidentiality.