Endometrial cancer

In Northern Ireland, there were 244 cases of cancer of the womb diagnosed in 2016. Cancer of the womb (uterus) is the most commonly occurring cancer of the female reproductive system, and the fourth most common cancer affecting women. This cancer is also called uterine cancer, or endometrial cancer. Most cases develop in women aged in their 50s or 60s. If endometrial cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, there is a good chance of successful treatment.

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding:

  • bleeding between periods;
  • bleeding after having sex;
  • periods that are heavier than usual;
  • any vaginal bleeding in women past the menopause.

Early symptoms that occur in some cases are:

  • pain during or after having sex;
  • vaginal discharge;
  • pain in the lower abdomen.

If womb cancer reaches a more advanced stage, it may cause additional symptoms. These include:

  • pain in the back, legs or pelvis;
  • loss of appetite;
  • tiredness;
  • nausea.

You should see you GP as soon as possible if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding.

Endometrial cancer: Janine's story

Resources

There are a number of websites that provide information relating to endometrial cancer, these include:

This is not an exhaustive list and other sources of support in Northern Ireland can also be accessed via Northern Ireland Cancer Network.