What is uterine cancer?

By Darci Moore, CNP - Fayette County Public Health

Uterine cancer is when a woman develops cancer in the uterus which, is the pear-shaped organ where the baby develops during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States.

Who is at risk for uterine cancer?

All women who have a uterus are at risk for uterine cancer and the risk increases as a woman ages. Women who are going through menopause or women who are postmenopausal have an increased risk of developing uterine cancer. Menopause is when a woman stops having her menstrual period and has had no menstrual period for 12 months. This usually occurs on average about the age of 50.

What are symptoms of uterine cancer?

• Vaginal discharge

• Abnormal vaginal bleeding (heavier bleeding than normal, bleeding between periods)

• Vaginal bleeding after you have gone through menopause

• Pelvic pain or pressure

What are risk factors for uterine cancer?

• Obesity

• Over the age of 50

• Taking estrogen hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms

• Trouble getting pregnant

• If you have taken the medication tamoxifen, used in breast cancer treatment

• Family history of uterine, ovarian or colon cancer

How is uterine cancer diagnosed and treated?

There are no screenings to test for uterine cancer in women with no signs and symptoms, so it is important to recognize potential problems to reduce your risks. If you have any of these symptoms see your healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider, if necessary, will order a transvaginal ultrasound or perform an endometrial biopsy. Treatment for uterine cancer depends on the type of uterine cancer and the severity. Treatment includes surgery, radiation and or chemotherapy.

How can I lower my risk of uterine cancer?

• Stay active

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Take birth control pills

• Take progesterone if you are taking estrogen

Darci Moore, CNP, is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Fayette County Public Health. Fayette County Public Health offers well woman exams and problematic gynecological visits through our Reproductive Health and Wellness Clinic with late hours available to meet the needs of patients.

Call the office to today if you would like to schedule an appointment (740-335-5910).


By Darci Moore, CNP

Fayette County Public Health