Symptoms of Uterus Cancer and How to Prevent It

symptoms of uterus cancer

Uterine cancer is a cancerous growth within the uterus, each cancer type originating in specific layers of this vital reproductive organ.

Within this in-depth article, we will look into the uterus cancer symptoms, risk factors of uterine cancer, the diagnosis process, tips for preventing uterine cancer, and surgical procedures to treat uterine cancer.

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Uterus Cancer

Recognising the uterus cancer symptoms and risk factors is crucial for early detection and intervention. The symptoms of uterine cancer include:

The predominant and frequently observed symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially noticeable after menopause. Additional common symptoms encompass:

  • Periods that are unusually heavy or a discernible alteration in menstrual patterns.
  • Vaginal bleeding occurs between regular menstrual cycles.
  • Prolonged periods that persist without an interlude.

Less commonly encountered signs and uterus cancer symptoms are:

  • A watery discharge, potentially accompanied by an unpleasant odor.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Challenges with urination or alterations in bowel habits.
  • Abdominal pain.

Risk factors for uterine cancer include:


The majority of cases occur past the age of 50, while the average diagnosis age is sixty years. In general, it takes place rarely, especially before 45 years old.


Uterine cancers are more likely in women who have excess weight, particularly if they have a high BMI, since such individuals have increased estrogen secretion.


This is more likely among the African-American and Hispanic categories, with the latter being more common in cases of aggressive cervical cancer.


The patients can have Lynch syndrome, which is characterized by the high risk of uterine cancer, particularly in those who descend from a family with previous cases of colon cancer.

Type 2 Diabetes:

An individual suffering from type 2 diabetes, most commonly found in combination with excess weight, may have additional chances of cervix carcinoma.

Previous Cancers:

Previous cases of breast, colon, and ovarian cancer increase the likelihood of having uterus cancer.

Radiation Therapy:

Uterine cancer is associated with previous pelvic radiotherapy for another neoplasm.


This may raise the risk, especially after taking products with high animal fat intake.


There are also some risk factors associated with prolonged exposures or imbalance of estrogen, such as early menarche and late menopause.

Uterus Cancer Diagnosis

Early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. Below are some of the uterus cancer tests used by healthcare professionals:

Pelvic Examination:

The doctor examines the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and rectum to identify any abnormalities. It is a primary screening uterus cancer test combined with a Pap test for cervical cancer screening.

Endometrial Biopsy:

It involves the removal of a small tissue sample for microscopic examination by a pathologist. A thin tube is inserted into the vagina to reach the uterus through the cervix, and tissue is removed with suction.

Transvaginal Ultrasound:

Utilizing sound waves, this test gives images of internal organs with a focus on the uterus. An ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina to capture images. If the endometrium appears thick, further investigation through biopsy is recommended.

Dilation and Curettage:

This uterus cancer test is performed under anaesthesia to remove tissue samples from the uterus. Often done in combination with hysteroscopy, it assists in checking for cancer cells, endometrial hyperplasia, and other conditions.

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan:

This imaging technique takes X-ray images from different angles to create a detailed 3D image of the body's interior. Sometimes, a contrast medium is used to enhance imaging, aiding in measuring tumour size and identifying abnormalities.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):

MRI produces detailed images using magnetic fields instead of X-rays. It has a contrast medium for clear images and is useful for detailed imaging when hormone management is part of the treatment plan.

Biomarker Testing of the tumour:

Laboratory tests are conducted on a tumour to identify genes, proteins, and unusual factors. This process is also known as molecular testing of the tumour. The outcomes of these tests aid in determining suitable treatment options for you.

After Diagnostic Tests:

If the diagnosis confirms cancer, further testing is conducted to assess the extent of the disease, categorize it by stage and grade, and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Tips to Prevent Uterus Cancer at Home

While some risk factors for uterine cancer are beyond individual control, there are lifestyle changes and self-care measures that may help reduce the risk:

  1. Birth Control Pills:

Use birth control pills with a combination of estrogen and progesterone taken cyclically over an extended period.

2. Progestin-Secreting IUD:

Opt for a progestin-secreting intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control, showcasing a positive impact on reducing uterine cancer risk.

3. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Considerations:

Evaluate the risks before starting HRT, favouring a combination of estrogen and progesterone to potentially lower the risk.

4. Weight Management:

Maintain a healthy weight with a BMI below 25, as obesity is linked to increased estrogen production and heightened uterine cancer risk.

5. Diabetes Management:

Effectively manage diabetes, including regular blood glucose monitoring, which has been associated with a reduced risk of uterine cancer.

6. Consult with the Healthcare Team:

Engage in open discussions with healthcare professionals to understand personal risk factors and tailor preventive measures accordingly.

Surgical Procedures to Prevent Uterus Cancer

Surgery, the primary treatment for uterine cancer, involves the removal of the tumour with surrounding healthy tissue, referred to as a margin. This critical procedure is the initial step in addressing uterine cancer, conducted by a specialised surgical gynecologic oncologist.

Hysterectomy surgery:

The hysterectomy surgery is the primary surgical procedure for uterine cancer and involves the removal of the tumour and surrounding healthy tissue, known as a margin. Hysterectomies are classified based on their extent:

  • Simple Hysterectomy Surgery: Removal of the uterus and cervix.
  • Radical Hysterectomy Surgery: Extensive removal, including the uterus, cervix, upper vagina, and adjacent tissues.

Post-hysterectomy, if the removed tissue shows no remaining cancer, additional treatment is not required. However, ongoing monitoring through regular screenings and testing is recommended to detect potential cancer recurrence. For hysterectomy, recovery time is approximately 6 to 8 weeks due to the longer incision.

Lymph Node Removal:

Lymph node removal is often conducted simultaneously with a hysterectomy to assess the extent of cancer spread beyond the uterus.

Two main methods are employed:

  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Involves injecting dye into the uterus during hysterectomy, followed by the removal of a few lymph nodes where the dye collects. This method is increasingly common in uterine cancer cases.
  • Lymphadenectomy: A more extensive procedure involving the surgical removal of a group of lymph nodes.

After the lymph node removal surgery, the anticipated recovery timeline is generally within 3 to 6 weeks.


Uterine cancer poses a notable health risk that can impact women across different age groups. Early detection and successful treatment hinge on the ability to identify uterus cancer symptoms, comprehend risk factors, and promptly seek medical assistance. Although certain risk factors are beyond personal influence, lifestyle adjustments and, in specific instances, surgical interventions can avert and manage uterine cancer.

Women must prioritise their well-being, engage in routine health examinations, understand surgical treatments, post hysterectomy recovery time, and consult with healthcare experts to address any apprehensions related to uterine health.