The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal vaginal discharge, particularly if it occurs after menopause. The discharge can appear watery or bloody, and may smell unusual.
Abnormal bleeding or discharge can happen before or after menopause, and it is usually not due to endometrial cancer. However, all women with unusual bleeding or discharge should see their doctor, and all postmenopausal women who have vaginal bleeding should be referred to a gynaecologist.
Other symptoms can include:
- discomfort or pain in the abdomen (belly)
- feeling a lump or mass in the abdomen
- difficult or painful urination
- pain during sex.
Many conditions can cause these symptoms, not just endometrial cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for tests to see if you have cancer.
Screening is the use of tests to detect a disease in people who have no symptoms.
There is no screening test for endometrial cancer. However, there are some genes that, if faulty, place you at increased risk of developing endometrial cancer (see Genetic testing).
Cervical screening tests do not detect endometrial cancer. If you have recently had a cervical screening test with a normal result, this does not mean that you do not have endometrial cancer. If you have any of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor.
For more information about screening for cancer in Australia, visit www.cancerscreening.gov.au.