Some common terms you should know:
Menopause: The menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation. It occurs around 45-55 years of age of a woman when the ovaries stops producing the female hormone, estrogen.
Menarche: The first menstrual period of a female.
Estrogen: The primary female sex hormone.
Uterine cancer usually occur between the age of 50-70 years old (average age at diagnosis is 60 years old). Around 75% of cases occurs in post-menopausal (after menopause) women . It may also occur around the time menopause begins.
According to the National Cancer Institute (US), in the United States in 2007, approximately 39,080 new cases are diagnosed and about 7,400 women die from the disease.
The most common of uterine cancer is endometrial cancer. Even though endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, following breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, in that order, it is only the eighth most common cause of cancer deaths because it is usually detected in early stages.
Uterine cancer can usually be detected early because the most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause.
When should you see a doctor?
Consult your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
1) Abnormal vaginal bleeding/discharge (especially after menopause)
2) Painful or difficult urination
3) Painful intercourse
4) Pain in the pelvic area
5) Pink, watery or white discharge from your vagina
6) Weight loss
You might not have all the symptoms at the same time, so you should consult your doctor even if you have a few of the symptoms above. Regular visit to a gynecologist (once a year) is the best prevention method as early detection of cancer is the most important factor influencing the prognosis of the disease.