Womb (Uterus) Cancer
The womb, or uterus, is a muscular, pear-shaped organ at the top of a woman’s vagina where a baby grows before being born.
Each year, about 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with cancer of the womb. The cause in most women is still unknown, but many of the risk factors are related to age, obesity and high levels of the hormone oestrogen in comparison with progesterone.
Other factors may reduce a woman’s risk of womb cancer, such as having children.
Things to look out for
The most common symptom of cancer of the womb is abnormal vaginal bleeding, for example:
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Unusually heavy periods
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
Other symptoms of womb cancer are:
- Back, leg or abdominal pain
- Abdominal or leg swelling
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Passing urine more often than usual
- Tiredness and weakness
There are many possible causes of all these symptoms but you should always see your GP about it. A normal cervical screening test (smear test) doesn’t prove that you don’t have cancer of the womb.
Ovarian cancer tends to affect women over the age of 50 but can also affect younger women. This is the fifth most common cancer within women in the UK.
Ovarian cancer can be split into three sub-groups:
- Epithelial (which has its own sub-groupings)
- Germ cell tumours
Following diagnosis, your doctor/consultant will be able to discuss your condition with you and advise on treatment options. Ovarian cancer is generally treated by a combination of surgery and chemotherapy, however treatment programmes may vary.
Things to look out for
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Weight gain/larger waist size
- Pain in the lower abdominal area – fluid build-up may cause swelling of the abdominal area; this can cause you to feel breathless
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower back
- Reduced appetite
- Diarrhoea, constipation and/or the urge to pass urine more often
- Irregular vaginal bleeding (although this is not a common symptom of ovarian cancer)
These symptoms can be related to various other medical conditions but due to the nature of cancer it is advisable you speak to your doctor/consultant if you experience any of these symptoms.
What treatments are available?
The treatments for ovarian and gynaecological cancer are:
You may have one of these treatments, or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at.
The consultant diagnostic and interventional radiologists at Christie Oncology Imaging will be able to provide diagnostic CT, PET/CT and MRI scans which will help to diagnose, stage monitor gynaecological and ovarian cancer response to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We also provide US/CT guided biopsy to obtain tissue samples which will help to tailor chemotherapy and other treatments to specific tumour characteristics. We may be able to offer an interventional oncology procedure such as biliary procedure, liver vascular procedure (SIRT, TACE), and percutaneous ablation.
For more information see: