Uterine Cancer - Symptoms & Causes

What is uterine cancer?

Uterine cancer is an abnormal growth of tissue in the uterus (womb). The uterus consists of the endometrium (uterine lining) and the muscle layer. Cancer in the uterine lining is more common than cancer in the muscle.

Types of uterine cancer

There are 2 main types of uterine cancer:

  • Endometrial cancer that develops from cells in the endometrium
  • Sarcoma that develops in the muscle cells

What are the symptoms of uterine cancer?

The main symptoms of uterine cancer are:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (e.g. heavy, irregular, or postmenopausal)
  • Occasional pelvic pain
  • Vaginal discharge

What causes uterine cancer?

The exact cause of uterine cancer is not known, but some risk factors are known to increase the chance of its occurrence.

What are the risk factors for uterine cancer?

High oestrogen levels play a role in the development of uterine cancer. This is why prolonged exposure to oestrogen as a result of early menarche (first occurrence of menstruation) and late menopause can increase the risk.

Other risk factors include:

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