Diagnosis

Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause. Other symptoms include difficult or painful urination, pain in the pelvic area, and pain during intercourse.

When this cancer is found early, removing the uterus often eliminates all of the cancer. The doctor may perform one or more of the following procedures to determine if cancer is present:

Pelvic Exam - The doctor feels the pelvic area to check the vagina, uterus, bladder and rectum for lumps or changes in shape and size. The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina to see the upper part of the vagina and cervix.

Pap Test - The doctor may takes cells from the cervix and upper vagina, and a lab checks for abnormal cells. This test can detect cancer of the cervix, but cells from the uterus usually do not show up on a Pap test.

Transvaginal Ultrasound - Sound waves and a computer are used to create a picture of the uterus, which can show tumors and abnormalities. If the endometrium looks too thick, the doctor will do a biopsy.

Biopsy - The doctor removes samples of tissue from the uterine lining. This is usually done in the doctor’s office, but in some cases the patient needs a dilation and cutterage (D & C). This is usually done as same-day surgery. A pathologist then checks the samples for cancer cells.

Once the results from the test or procedure are returned you will be able to make thoughtful decisions. Please see Newly Diagnosed  for information on being patient active, treatment decisions, partnering with your healthcare team and finding support. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is difficult. Please see Caregivers and/or Online Support for more information on how the Cancer Support Community can offer support.

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