The 7 ‘camouflaged’ symptoms of deadly womb cancer most women ignore | The Sun

WOMB cancer is the fourth most common type of the disease in women in the UK.

But worryingly, many have no idea what the most common symptoms are, meaning it's often found at a late stage.

Almost 10,000 people are diagnosed every year. Around 2,500 die.

Of those told they have womb cancer early, 90 per cent survive.

But only one in five patients will live beyond five years if it isn't detected until the disease is in an advanced stage.

Campaigners believe the survival rate would improve dramatically if people could identify the key warning signs.


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The Eve Appeal and Peaches Womb Cancer Trust are encouraging Brits to 'spot check' the gaps in their knowledge after finding almost a quarter of people have never heard of womb cancer and only 43 per cent know to look out for blood.

This includes learning that the following symptoms need to be checked out:

  • Bleeding after sex
  • 'Blood-stained' vaginal discharge (which can be pink, red or brown)
  • Blood in the urine (haematuria)
  • Bleeding between periods (before the menopause)
  • Periods that are heavier than normal (before the menopause)
  • Any vaginal bleeding after the menopause (including spotting)
  • Abdominal pain

Once womb cancer reaches a more advanced stage, it may also cause:

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  • Pain in the back, legs or pelvis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea

These symptoms could well be a sign of a far more mild health problem, such as low oestrogen levels or a reaction to hormone replacement therapy.

But they could also indicate several potentially serious conditions, like endometriosis, fibroids or polyps.

Only one in 10 cases of unusual vaginal bleeding after the menopause is caused by womb cancer.

However, it's vital to see a doctor just in case you are in the 10 per cent experiencing so-called "camouflaged" symptoms.

Professor Emma Crosbie, president of Peaches Womb Cancer Trust, said: "Despite womb cancer being the most common of the gynaecological cancers in the UK, our survey reveals that one in four women in the UK have never heard of or are unsure if they have heard of womb cancer.

"A worryingly high number of people are not familiar with the most common 'red flag' symptoms."

Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of The Eve Appeal, added: "We want everyone to feel educated and empowered when it comes to their health, and that means knowing more about the most common gynaecological cancer in the UK, womb cancer.

"It’s so important to ignite the conversation around what is normal for you and what to do if something doesn’t feel right.

"If you have any abnormal bleeding, don’t be embarrassed to visit your GP and push for answers to rule out womb cancer.

"If you have any worries or concerns, our Ask Eve service run by our gynae cancer nurse specialists is here to answer any questions you may have, no matter how big or small."

Most people diagnosed with womb cancer, also called uterine or endometrial cancer, are over the age of 40 as the risk increases with age.

But it can happen at any stage of life.

Being overweight or obese, having higher oestrogen levels, taking HRT or tamoxifen, having type 1 or 2 diabetes, a thickened womb lining and polycystic ovary syndrome can increase your chances, according to Cancer Research UK.

Starting your period at a young age, going through the menopause late, and a family history of womb cancer are also risk factors.


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But having children decreases this risk, as does taking the contraceptive pill and exercising.

Treatment depends on the type, grade and stage of the cancer, but most patients will have surgery to remove their womb and cervix.

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