Uterine cancer

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Finding uterine cancer early

When uterine cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Get regular health checkups and see your doctor if you have any symptoms, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, or if you are worried about your health.

Most women should have regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. This test sometimes also finds uterine cancer. It is not used as a regular screening test for uterine cancer because it was developed to find abnormal cervical cells rather than abnormal uterine cells. Also, the Pap test doesn’t reach the inside of the uterus so it will not find all uterine cancers.

If you have a higher than average risk, you may need to visit your doctor more often to check for uterine cancer. Talk to your doctor about tests that can help find uterine cancer early, including the following:

transvaginal ultrasound

A procedure that uses an ultrasound probe or transducer inserted in the vagina (birth canal) to produce images of structures and organs in the pelvis, including the vagina, uterus (womb), ovaries, fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and bladder.

Doctors use transvaginal ultrasound to look for tumours or other abnormalities.

Also called transvaginal sonography.

hysteroscopy

A procedure that uses an endoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens) to examine or treat the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes.

Cells or tissue may be removed for examination under a microscope. Doctors may also use hysteroscopy to remove polyps, fibroids or tumours.

The type of endoscope used for this procedure is called a hysteroscope.

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