Womb cancer is a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It is also called uterine cancer or endometrial cancer.
Latest available figures (CRUK) from 2014 show that 9,324 women in UK were diagnosed that year and that 2.166 died in 2013 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, for example bleeding after the menopause or bleeding in between periods; heavier periods than usual if you haven’t been through the menopause and a watery or bloody vaginal discharge.
Less common symptoms are pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, or pain during sex.
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.
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.
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.
Sadly this is wrong; I along with many other women had clear smear tests only weeks before we were diagnosed.
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 email@example.com 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.