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Study Provides Closer Look at Postmenopausal Bleeding and Endometrial Cancer

Posted on August 29, 2018

Women experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding may undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, biopsy, or both, to determine if an endometrial tumor is the cause.

Credit: National Cancer Institute

In the largest analysis to date looking at the extent to which vaginal bleeding is associated with endometrial cancer in women who have gone through menopause, 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer reported bleeding before their cancer diagnosis. Approximately 9% of postmenopausal women who saw a doctor for bleeding later received a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. The study was led by DCEG investigators, Megan Clarke, Ph.D., and Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D.

Unlike many other cancer types, the rate of endometrial cancer has increased in recent years and is expected to continue rising worldwide over the coming decade. This rise is thought to be largely due to factors that affect hormones, such as rising obesity rates and changes in how many children women are likely to have.

If endometrial cancer is found early, a woman has a 95% chance of surviving the cancer for at least 5 years. By contrast, for women diagnosed after their cancer has spread outside the uterus, the chance of surviving for at least 5 years is much lower, ranging from 16–45%.

Read more about Postmenopausal Bleeding and Endometrial Cancer.