Symptoms

The most common symptom is unusual or irregular bleeding or a watery, pink or dark bloody discharge from the vagina; especially for women who have been through menopause and stopped having periods. Sometimes, this discharge can be smelly. Most cancers of the uterus are picked up because of irregular or post-menopausal bleeding.

Other, less common symptoms can include discomfort or pain in the abdomen, difficult or painful urination and pain during sex.

Unusual bleeding or discharge can happen before and after menopause. It is usually not due to cancer of the uterus.

However, all women with unusual bleeding or discharge should see their doctor for a check-up.

Doctors and other health professionals you may see

Your doctor will examine you. If your doctor has any concerns, they will refer you for tests to see if you have cancer. This can be a worrying and tiring time, especially if you need to have several tests.

If the tests show you have or may have cancer, your doctor will refer you to a gynaecologist, who will advise you about treatment options.

The treatment team

From the time that you are first diagnosed with cancer of the uterus you will be cared for by one or more of a team of health professionals:

  • your family doctor – will often be the first person you see

  • gynaecologist – a doctor who specialises in the female reproductive system

  • gynaecological oncologist – a doctor who specialises in cancers of the female reproductive system

  • pathologist – a doctor who diagnoses disease by studying cells and tissues under a microscope

  • radiation oncologist – a doctor who specialises in the use of radiation in the treatment of cancer

  • medical oncologist – a doctor who specialises in the use of drug treatments for cancer

  • endocrinologists – a doctor who specialises in hormone treatment

  • radiation therapists – who prepare you and give you your radiation treatment

  • clinical nurse specialists – who specialise in gynaecology

  • oncology nurses – who give chemotherapy and support you through your treatment

  • dietitians – who will recommend the most suitable foods to eat

  • social workers, counsellors, physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists who will advise, support and treat you.

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