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Most Common Cancer of Female Reproductive System Increases with Age

Most Common Cancer of Female Reproductive System Increases with Age
June 12
13:40 2017

Most Common Cancer of Female Reproductive System Increases with Age

When asked what is the most common form of cancer of the female reproductive system, most women immediately name cervical or ovarian, but in both cases, they are wrong and could be dead wrong.

According to the American Cancer Society, endometrial cancer is the most common form of cancer of the female reproductive system. ACS estimates there will be around 61,380 new cases of endometrial and uterine cancer (often referred to as same thing) diagnosed in 2017. They also predict that close to 11,000 women will die from endometrial and uterine cancer. Although endometrial cancer is more common in white women, the mortality rate is higher among black women, possibly due to poorer or lesser medical care. But don’t despair as there are over 600,000 endometrial cancer survivors in the United States.

Endometrial cancer is a cancer that invades the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Cancer can form in the lining or in the wall of the uterus.

Endometrial cancer can strike at any age, however, the is uncommon among women under the age of 45, with the average age at time of diagnosis is around 60, mostly in postmenopausal women.

One source lists four major factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer:

  • Weight – the more body fat, the greater the risk. Maintain a healthy weight and low body fat.
  • Inactivity – being sedentary too much increases the risk. Try to be more active.
  • High glycemic diet – this is a diet with lots of bad carbs and sugars.
  • Age – this is the one risk factor you can’t do anything about, but the older you get, the greater your risk of developing endometrial cancer

So, what symptoms do women need to look for?

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding – any vaginal bleeding other than the normal menstrual cycle is considered abnormal.
  • Vaginal bleeding AFTER menopause – some vaginal bleeding after menopause can be associated with some hormone therapies, but in general, any bleeding after menopause should be checked out.
  • Bleeding between periods – this occurs in women who have not undergone menopause, but who have bleeding between their menstrual cycles.
  • Pelvic pain – pelvic pain, below the belly button, can be caused by a number of symptoms and if persistent, should be checked out by a doctor.
  • Abnormal discharge – any vaginal discharge after menopause can be a symptom of endometrial cancer. This discharge is usually a thin clear or whitish fluid and does not resemble any blood discharge.
  • Difficulty and pain urinating – this is commonly associated with urinary tract infections, but if it persists after treatment for a UTI, then it needs to be checked out.
  • Sudden weight loss – while many women welcome weight loss, a sudden unexplained weight loss may be a symptom of endometrial cancer or other health concerns.
  • Painful intercourse – pain during intercourse may be a symptom of endometrial or cervical cancer. It may also be due to a condition known as vulvar vestibulitis.
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort – endometrial cancer can cause severe abdominal pain and cramping, as well as a bloated stomach feeling.
  • Fatigue and weakness – fatigue and weakness can be caused by a number of things including low iron, low thyroid and other conditions. If it persists and is accompanied by some of the symptoms above, see your doctor.

Early detection and treatment is key to surviving endometrial cancer. Watch for the symptoms above and see your doctor regularly. Have a regular Pap smear test and never be afraid to ask questions.

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