Cancer remains arguably the most frustrating disease or condition facing the world today. The causes are often unknown. It can seemingly strike at random and there are so many different parts of the body that are vulnerable. The female reproductive system is often one of the most vulnerable parts of the body when it comes to developing cancers.
Cancer is broken up into four different stages. The higher the stage, the more severe the cancer and more it has spread throughout the body. In order for someone diagnosed with cancer to have the best chance of fighting it off, treatment needs to begin as early as possible. The best way to help with early treatment is recognizing potential signs and symptoms and not ignoring anything going on in the body. Educate yourself about cancers and see a doctor anytime something is amiss within the body!
What is Endometrial Cancer?
One of the first types of cancer that women should be looking out for is endometrial cancer. This is the most common type of uterine cancer that a woman can contract. The cancer starts in the lining of the uterus. This is also known as the endometrium. While the cause of endometrial cancer is not known, the genes will mutate in the cells. These cancerous cells grow at a rate out of proportion with the rest of the endometrium. While the causes aren’t known, several risk factors are documented. People who start menstruation before the age of 12 or have a late menopause have an increased risk due to the extra years of menstruation. Women who have not been pregnant, or have a condition that alters their hormonal levels are also more at risk. Also, older women and those suffering from obesity are more likely to get endometrial cancer.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which starts within a woman’s ovaries. These two cashew sized aspects of the female reproductive system are used for the release of eggs and the creation of estrogen other hormones vital for female development and reproduction. Ovarian cancer is a subtler form of cancer in that symptoms are often not obvious until it has developed or spread to other aspects of the body, making it much more difficult to be treated easily. People who suffer from ovarian cancer will often undergo chemotherapy or surgery in an effort to stop the growth or spread of the cancer.
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For
Endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer are relatively close within the body. However, their symptoms do differ. Ovarian cancer symptoms are subtle, while endometrial cancer symptoms are more obvious and often alarming to some women. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, any signs of them should result in making an appointment with a doctor. Signs of Ovarian cancer can include:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Persistent feelings of swelling or bloating in the abdomen
- When eating, feeling full very quickly on very little food
- Pain or discomfort felt throughout the pelvis
- Suffering from constipation or seeing other changes to routine bowel habits
- Needing to urinate quite frequently
Endometrial cancer does share one common symptom, which is the feelings of pelvic pain. However, the main symptoms are post menopausal vaginal bleeding and bleeding in between periods. This excess vaginal bleeding outside of expected time can be an easy symptom to spot.
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