What is womb cancer?
Womb cancer is a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It is also called endometrial or uterine cancer.
Latest available figures (CRUK) from 2014 show that 9,324 women in UK were diagnosed that year and that 2.166 died in 2014 as a result of womb cancer.
The womb or uterus is a muscular, pear-shaped organ where a baby is carried during pregnancy.
It sits low in the pelvis and is supported by the pelvic floor muscles. The lower part of the womb is called the cervix.
The cervix is joined to the top of the vagina and is sometimes called the neck of the womb.
The most common symptom of womb cancer is unusual vaginal bleeding. Any spotting or bleeding after the menopause should always be checked out by your GP. Also any bleeding in between your normal periods or if your periods become heavier or start lasting longer than usual then again see your GP.
Less common symptoms are pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, or pain during sex and a watery or bloody vaginal discharge.
If you have any unusual vaginal bleeding, always see your GP about it. There are other conditions that affect the womb, such as fibroids, which can also cause unusual vaginal bleeding.
Bleeding is one of the first signs of womb cancer, and the earlier womb cancer is picked up, the more likely it is to be cured.
We also know that some women believe womb cancer to be a type of cervical cancer and many are under the impression that a smear test would pick it up.
Even if you’ve had a normal cervical smear test recently, it’s important to have any bleeding checked. A smear test only takes cells from the neck of the womb or the cervix so it only occasionally picks up womb cancer.
This lack of knowledge shows why there needs to be a national campaign but sadly the authorities don't seem to think one is needed so it is left to people like us to do the awareness raising.
We have produced some leaflets which outline some of the main risk factors of womb cancer and the signs and symptoms to be aware of.
We would like to have these leaflets in every GP surgery/clinic/health centre etc across the UK but we need your help to get them there.
If you can help distribute some then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on the website.
For further detailed information then please check out the womb cancer information pages on the Macmillan cancer support website.