Symptoms of uterine cancer

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california_artist
california_artist Member Posts: 816 Member
Since Tamoxifen is often prescribed for women who have breast cancer and there is a link between its use and a rarer more aggressive form of uterine cancer, it's important to be familiar with the symptoms of uterine cancer, some of which are:

Symptoms

Abnormal uterine bleeding, abnormal menstrual periods

Bleeding between normal periods before menopause

Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause

Extremely long, heavy, or frequent episodes of vaginal bleeding after age 40

Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramping

Thin white or clear, or brown tinged vaginal discharge after menopause

I found mine simply because I had developed the habit of always checking the tissue after going pee for anything other than almost clear white toilet paper. All there was an occasional barely tan stain, barely a hint of another color.

Should you have anything unusual at all, a pap smear will almost never reveal uterine cancer. An pelvic(vaginal) ultrasound/sonogram should be done. If there is even a mild thickening of the uterine lining, think it's about 5mm, you can check this online, then I would highly recommend a uterine biopsy. Take some ibuprofen prior to lessen any discomfort. Please do not be dissuaded by your doctor that it is nothing. Mine put me off for nearly two years because my spotting was intermittent, few times a month. Doctors are mostly aware of the connection between breast and uterine cancer, some aren't. Papillary serous is a real difficult cancer to treat so please be diligent in looking for signs.

Best

Comments

  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832 Member
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    I'll chime in here, too
    Hi Claudia -

    Thanks for posting this on the breast cancer board.

    I just want to add that it doesn't have to be a Tamoxifen thing. One cancer puts us at higher risk for the other because the risk factors are the same, especially estrogen.

    I had both (but not UPSC - mine was the garden variety, endometroid adenocarcioma) and I was not on Tamoxifen. Mine popped up at the same time. And it was an abnormal Pap smear that prompted my further workup.

    Just know the symptoms and don't delay a doctor appointment should you have any. For those of you on Tamoxifen, you're not menopausal yet, but report any unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.

    For us postmenopausal women not on Tamoxifen, the primary symptom is any postmenopausal bleeding. Regarding the Pap smear thing, it is unusual, but I had endometrial cells on my Pap and this is not supposed to happen to postmenopausal women.

    And don't panic, just because you're on Tamoxifen doesn't mean you're going to get uterine cancer nor does having breast cancer mean you'll get it. Both increase our risk and it can be serious stuff, so just be aware and keep up the well woman exams. There are several women on the uterine board who have had breast cancer previously.

    I think there is a serious lack of awareness around all gynecologic cancers.

    Suzanne
  • mamolady
    mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
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    There is a syndrome that
    There is a syndrome that pre-disposes you to both breast and uterine cancers. Cowden syndrome and Lynch syndrome are listed on wikipedia. I don't remember which one the genetic councilor was asking about.

    My aunt had uterine at 27 and then breast at 47 so there definitely is a link.

    Cindy
  • california_artist
    california_artist Member Posts: 816 Member
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    I'll chime in here, too
    Hi Claudia -

    Thanks for posting this on the breast cancer board.

    I just want to add that it doesn't have to be a Tamoxifen thing. One cancer puts us at higher risk for the other because the risk factors are the same, especially estrogen.

    I had both (but not UPSC - mine was the garden variety, endometroid adenocarcioma) and I was not on Tamoxifen. Mine popped up at the same time. And it was an abnormal Pap smear that prompted my further workup.

    Just know the symptoms and don't delay a doctor appointment should you have any. For those of you on Tamoxifen, you're not menopausal yet, but report any unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.

    For us postmenopausal women not on Tamoxifen, the primary symptom is any postmenopausal bleeding. Regarding the Pap smear thing, it is unusual, but I had endometrial cells on my Pap and this is not supposed to happen to postmenopausal women.

    And don't panic, just because you're on Tamoxifen doesn't mean you're going to get uterine cancer nor does having breast cancer mean you'll get it. Both increase our risk and it can be serious stuff, so just be aware and keep up the well woman exams. There are several women on the uterine board who have had breast cancer previously.

    I think there is a serious lack of awareness around all gynecologic cancers.

    Suzanne

    Suzanne,
    Thank you so much for filling in things I didn't think to say.

    On another note, cabbage is a veggie that can turn the most dangerous form of estrogen to a more benign form, along with adding fiber to get all the estrogen out of our bodies as fast as possible, so eat up.

    claudia
  • Linda Lee
    Linda Lee Member Posts: 7
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    mamolady said:

    There is a syndrome that
    There is a syndrome that pre-disposes you to both breast and uterine cancers. Cowden syndrome and Lynch syndrome are listed on wikipedia. I don't remember which one the genetic councilor was asking about.

    My aunt had uterine at 27 and then breast at 47 so there definitely is a link.

    Cindy

    A Bit About Lynch Syndrome Uterine Cancers
    Lynch syndrome predisposes individuals to a very high risk of a myriad of cancers. The lifetime risks of cancer include up to: 85% for colon cancer, 65% for endometrial (uterine) cancer, 19% for gastric cancers, 13% for ovarian cancer and a higher than average lifetime risk for cancers of the gastric system (esophaegus, stomach) hepatobiliary tract (liver, gallbladder) small intestine, pancreas,prostate, kidney, bladder, ureters, various ducts, skin, brain and....the breast, though it must be remembered breast cancer is common so without testing each breast cancer of those with Lynch syndrome, the prevalence is not known...

    The new standards are every time there is a colon cancer, to histopathologically test the tumor for characteristics of Lynch syndrome and the same should be done for uterine cancer if it is suspected the cancer is hereditary or if the individual with the cancers are of a younger than average age.

    For women with Lynch syndrome, annual screenings for women's cancers are performed as well as the usual screenings. These include endometrial samplings, CA-125 tests, pelvic ultrasounds. It is important to remember there is no totally accurate way to detect womens cancers early, so women with Lynch syndrome often have total abdominal hysterectomies with oopherectomy following childbearing years. This deters the high risk of cancers and allows us to live much longer than those in the generations before!

    For more information on Lynch syndrome, visit www.lynchcancers.com

    Live well and stay well! Linda
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
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    I had total Hysterectomy In
    I had total Hysterectomy In MAY 2011 due to thickening of uterus..I had an internal ultra sound about @ 3 mths followed by D & C! MY gyon wouldn't have done this procedure but my Oncologist insisted , which I am happy she did. MINE was to enlarged to take without full cut. All from Tamoxifen..but over with now..

    Denise