What is Womb (uterus) cancer?

Womb cancer is cancer that starts in the uterus, also known as the womb. It is one of the most common cancers in women.

The womb is the hollow organ located in the pelvis, between the bladder and rectum. It is the organ that carries the baby from the womb to the outside world.

The uterus is a hollow muscular organ that develops during the first few weeks of pregnancy. It has a large number of blood vessels, which is why it is often called ‘the bloodier organ’.

The womb has a very important function: It is where the baby grows and develops. The womb is also the organ where the placenta is attached. The placenta is a tissue that nourishes the fetus.

What are the symptoms of womb cancer?

Sometimes, womb cancer can be very difficult to notice. This is because it is in the lower abdomen and, in the early stages, there are no obvious symptoms.

A woman usually notices something is wrong when she experiences pain. The pain can be severe and is usually more intense during sex or when the woman coughs or sneezes.

In most cases, the pain is due to the cancer spreading. This is why women often notice a lump in the lower abdomen. In some cases, the lump will be hard and painful. In other cases, the lump will be soft and move when a woman moves.

Other symptoms that may occur are:

  • Bleeding during menstruation
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Back pain
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Nausea

How is womb cancer diagnosed?

Early diagnosis is important in order to improve the chances of survival.

If a woman has symptoms, she should see her doctor. The doctor will ask her about her symptoms, including how often they occur.

In order to make a diagnosis, the doctor will examine the woman and will also have a sample of her blood taken for analysis. The blood sample will be analysed in a laboratory.

The specialist will assess the results of the blood test and will then discuss the diagnosis with the woman.

Treatment for womb cancer

The treatment of womb cancer depends on how advanced it is.

Early-stage cancer is often treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment method that uses medications to kill cancer cells.

In later-stage cancer, surgery is the main treatment method. Surgery is the removal of part or all of the womb. This may be done through an abdominal or vaginal approach.

A woman who has a womb cancer that has spread to other organs, such as the lungs or liver, may also need surgery to remove these.

Chemotherapy is used when cancer has spread to these organs. It is also used to help treat cancer that has returned after treatment.

Women who have a womb cancer that has not spread to other organs may be treated with:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Can womb cancer be cured?

Cancer that has spread to other organs is often difficult to cure. It is usually treated with chemotherapy, which makes the cancer more resistant to treatment.

In some cases, cancer may be cured as a result of surgery. This is when the cancer has been removed from the woman’s body. In other cases, the cancer may return.

If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, a woman may be able to have chemotherapy or targeted therapy to treat it.

Outlook for womb cancer

For womb cancer, the outlook is generally good. The treatment is based on whether the cancer is early or late-stage.

In general, cancers that are diagnosed at an early stage often have a better outlook.

For cancers that are diagnosed at a late stage, there are treatment options. These can include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.

In most cases, the outlook for cancer that has spread is poor.

Can womb cancer be prevented?

A woman who has a womb cancer is at a higher risk of developing another type of cancer. In most cases, the risk is small.

However, a woman who has a womb cancer should not get pregnant. If she does become pregnant, the cancer should be removed before it spreads.

A woman who has a womb cancer should also not smoke. Smoking puts a woman at a higher risk of developing other cancers.

A woman who is undergoing treatment for womb cancer should also avoid sexual intercourse. This is because the cancer may spread during sexual intercourse.

Women who have had a womb cancer should also make sure that they do not have sexual intercourse for at least six months after treatment.

How can womb cancer be prevented?

Women should not get pregnant if they have had womb cancer.

If a woman does become pregnant and the cancer has spread to the uterus, the doctor will remove it before it becomes cancerous.

Smoking is a major cause of womb cancer. Women who are going to become pregnant should avoid smoking.

Women who are undergoing treatment for womb cancer should avoid sexual intercourse.

Women who have had womb cancer should also make sure that they do not have sexual intercourse for at least six months after treatment.

When should a woman see a doctor after having womb cancer?

Women should report any symptoms of cancer to their doctor as soon as possible.

Women should also see their doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling

The bottom line

Womb cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the uterus. It is the most common cancer in women.

It is usually diagnosed at an early stage, which makes it easier to treat. The outlook for womb cancer is generally good.

Images by Freepik

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