The uterus is an organ in the shape of the pear in which the fetus will grow before being born. It is, of course, hollow, and as such is lined with a tissue known as the endometrium. This lining is where endometrial cancer gets its name because cancer grows in the lining. Most uterus cancers are in fact endometrial cancer. Some people who have endometrial cancer will be asymptomatic — showing no symptoms — until the disease spreads to other organs in their body.
That said, there are some red flags that come with this type of cancer including vaginal bleeding, and the symptoms will only worsen as cancer progresses. Endometrial cancer can be hard to detect in women who have not yet gone into menopause and are still active in their menstrual cycle as their symptoms of vaginal bleeding may be mistaken for menstruation. It is easier to diagnose endometrial cancer in women who have already completed the process of menopause.
1. Vaginal bleeding
Vaginal discharge or bleeding is something that you’ll find in nine out of every 10 women who have endometrial cancer. Prior to menopause, this would entail abnormally large volumes in their menstrual periods, or perhaps even bleeding in between their red days.
If the patient already entered menopause, then any vaginal bleeding could be considered unusual unless she is undergoing HRT — hormone replacement therapy. While HRT does cause vaginal bleeding for some postmenopausal patients, the initial occurrences of bleeding should still be checked by a trained physician to ensure that the bleeding is in fact caused by hormone replacement therapy as opposed to endometrial cancer.
All that being said, even if someone notices vaginal bleeding, there is no need to panic. No more than 15% of postmenopausal women who experience bleeding actually have endometrial cancer. There are many other things that could cause vaginal bleeding without being as severe as cancer.