7 Symptoms of Uterine Cancer You Need to Watch Out for
The most common symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. In addition, there are other symptoms that are important for you to recognize. Find out the full range of signs of uterine cancer below.
What is Uterine Cancer?
Uterine cancer is a type of cancer that grows and develops in the uterus, specifically in the cavity, muscles and uterine wall. The uterus itself is a pear-shaped organ. This organ is where the fetus grows during pregnancy.
Uterine cancer occurs when healthy cells in the uterus change and grow out of control. This abnormal cell growth will form a mass or tumor that can be benign or cancerous.
The term uterine cancer refers to cancer that grows around the uterus, which can be endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma.
Endometrial cancer develops in the lining of the uterus and cases of this disease are relatively common. Meanwhile, uterine sarcomas develop in the muscle or other tissues of the intestine. Cases are rare.
Regarding Various Symptoms of Uterine Cancer
Characteristics of uterine cancer may be different for each woman depending on the type experienced. However, there are some common symptoms that can occur, including:
1. Pelvic Pain
Early symptoms of this cancer are pelvic pain and feeling a mass (tumor) in the uterus. These are symptoms of uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer.
The sufferer may have a feeling of fullness in the stomach or pelvis and experience pain in the abdomen below the navel that comes and goes or occurs continuously.
When it grows in size and begins to spread, this uterine cancer will cause the stomach to enlarge and harden.
2. Abnomal Bleeding or Spotting
Uterine cancer sufferers are very likely to experience bleeding from the vagina. About 85 percent of patients with uterine sarcoma cancer experience irregular or abnormal bleeding or bleeding after menopause.
In addition, bleeding can also occur outside the menstrual period or heavy bleeding during menstruation.
Also Read: 9 Types of Cancer in Women that Often Occur and Need to Watch Out for!
3. Unusual vaginal discharge
Abnormal vaginal discharge tends to indicate an infection or other non-cancerous condition. This condition can also be a symptom of uterine cancer.
Some women with uterine sarcoma cancer experience vaginal discharge that doesn’t contain blood and sometimes smells.
If you have abnormal discharge from the vagina, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
4. Weight Loss Without Cause
Weight loss for no apparent reason can be a symptom of uterine cancer, especially endometrial cancer. This symptom is more common in people with advanced cancer.
Delay in getting medical treatment can make this cancer progress further, making treatment less effective.
5. Difficult or painful urination
Problems with urination are a symptom of uterine cancer that you need to be aware of. In addition to the increased urge to urinate, this disease can also cause pain when urinating. You can even find it difficult to do it.
The cause is likely to come from a tumor pressing on the bladder. This often makes you pee more often and experience constipation.
6. Pain during sexual intercourse
Not only because the tumor grows, uterine cancer treatment can also trigger the pain that is felt. Treatment usually begins with a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus and cervix.
In addition, since female hormonal factors (especially estrogen) can play a role in the development of uterine cancer, treatment often includes the removal of the ovaries as well as the uterus. This procedure can cause sexual problems.
The female hormone produced by the ovaries helps keep vaginal tissue moist and flexible. Ovary removal can stop the production of these hormones. This causes the vagina to be dry and tight, triggering pain during sexual intercourse.
Also Read: Enlarged Uterus, But Not Pregnant? This is the Cause
Stomach feeling full or tight may be a condition that is often experienced by women, especially before menstruation. But in fact, this condition can also be a sign of uterine cancer.
The cause of flatulence due to cancer is ascites. This condition occurs when fluid accumulates in the stomach.
Ascites usually forms when cancer cells begin to spread into the peritoneum, the lining of the stomach. Fluid buildup can also occur when a tumor or cancer blocks part of the lymphatic system.
Please note, symptoms of tumors in the uterus usually occur in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. In addition to the symptoms previously mentioned, several conditions that may be signs of uterine cancer include:
- Pain in the stomach.
- Feeling full all the time.
- No appetite.
- Tired for no apparent reason.
- Back and leg pain.
- Swelling in the legs.
- Frequent urination.
- Menstruation that is heavier than usual.
- Constant bleeding (continuous menstruation).
- Enlargement of the uterus (can be detected during a pelvic exam).
Uterine Cancer Treatment
Surgery (hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) will be the only treatment needed for most people with uterine cancer, especially if the cancer is detected early and has not spread to other parts of the body.
In addition, several other treatments to treat uterine cancer symptoms, including:
1. Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy)
This treatment uses x-rays to kill or injure cancer cells. Radiotherapy is usually as an additional treatment to reduce cancer recurrence.
Therapy is carried out to treat several types of uterine cancer, treat cancer that has returned after surgery or radiotherapy, and treat cancer that does not respond to hormone treatment.
Chemotherapy with drugs injected into a vein aims to control cancer and relieve symptoms.
Also Read: Cancer Immunotherapy: How it Works, Types, Benefits, and Side Effects
3. Hormone therapy
If the cancer has spread or if the uterine cancer symptoms recur, hormone therapy is usually given. This therapy is also sometimes used if surgery is not an option.
Progesterone is the main hormone treatment for uterine cancer, and is available as tablets or injections.
4. Palliative Care
In some cases of uterine cancer, the doctor may talk to the patient about palliative care. This treatment is to improve the patient’s quality of life by reducing the symptoms of cancer.
Treatment can reduce pain and help manage other symptoms. Actions can be a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or other drug therapy.
Now, there are a number of symptoms of uterine cancer that need to be watched out for and the treatment that can be given. If you detect any unusual problems with your reproductive organs, consult a doctor immediately.
Early diagnosis will help prevent the cancer from developing further so that treatment can be carried out more effectively.
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