You may have never heard of endometrial cancer, but it is actually the most common cancer of the reproductive system for women. Although it can be deadly, this cancer is easier to catch early on if you are paying attention to what your body is saying.
If you notice any of these vital symptoms, visit your gynecologist soon.
Pain when peeing
Some women experience this in different ways. Rather than having pain when peeing, you might notice you can't completely empty your bladder. Both can be signs that something isn't right.
Most women have some type of discharge on a regular basis, but if yours changes to slightly bloody or watery, it could be cause for alarm. You can find more information on what's abnormal here.
The cancer occurs within the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus. When you are on your period, this lining gets thicker in order to support an embryo in case you get pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized, it peels off the inside of the uterus. The peeling off of that lining is your period, according to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
But when your endometrium has cancer, it means the lining grows abnormally, and stops responding to regular cell growth instructions your body usually follows. This means you may have bleeding at times between your periods or after menopause.
If you have bleeding that is not part of your regular menstrual cycle, this could be a sign of cancer within your uterus.
There are several reasons intercourse may be hurting you. Consult with your doctor to see if this pain is caused by cancer.
Although an unusual symptom, pelvic pain can feel similar to cramps you may have when on your period. Pelvic pain can regularly occur around the time of your period, as well as half way through the month when you are ovulating. Unexpected pain besides those times should be evaluated.
Doctors aren't sure exactly what causes endometrial cancer, but there are risk factors that can heighten your chance of having it, according to Mayo Health Clinic.
Some of these risk factors include:
Starting your period under the age of 12
Each time you have a cycle, your hormone balances change (as your mood can probably tell you). The more periods you have, the more hormonal shifts your body has, which heightens your risk.
The majority of endometrial cancer cases appear after menopause.
Obesity increases your risk of endometrial cancer potentially because extra bad fat affects how your body balances hormones.
Never being pregnant
Women who have been pregnant at least once have a smaller chance than those who have never been pregnant.
Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a gene mutation passed from parents to children. The risk of cancers is increased in those who have this gene.
Although scary, endometrial cancer can be treated better when caught early. It's important to understand these symptoms, so you can detect any problems early on.