Preventing uterine cancer

Uterine cancer (also known as endometrial cancer) forms in the lining of the uterus, usually in the mucus-secreting cells, and is the fourth most common cancer among women.

If you go through menopause after the age of 52, or your periods begin before the age of 12, you may be at a higher risk of developing uterine cancer than women who do not. Menstrual problems and irregularities, such as heavy bleeding and absent periods, not having children, taking certain estrogen-rich medication, obesity, high blood pressure, and a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer are all also considered risk factors for the disease.

The good news is that although some of these, such as a family history of the disease, are out of your control, there are plenty of risk factors you can influence. Do your best to lose weight if you’re overweight, take steps to reduce your blood pressure if necessary, and try to balance your hormones naturally, rather than relying upon hormone-related medication (although always talk to your doctor before switching from conventional to natural medicine). The hormone-balancing diet and the supplements and herbal remedies recommended will help you do this. In addition, quit smoking, reduce your alcohol consumption, and get regular exercise – all of which will help minimize risk.

Abnormal bleeding is one of the most common early symptoms of uterine cancer, so please check with your doctor if your menstrual bleeding is unusual or heavy, or occurs between periods or after menopause. Other symptoms include lower back pain and abdominal pain. A watery, blood-tinged discharge may also occur, followed by vaginal bleeding. As endometrial cancer is most common in women over the age of 50, women past this age should have an annual pelvic ultrasound scan that can detect any unusual growths or masses in your uterus.

Caught early, most cases of uterine cancer can be completely successfully treated, and treatment will almost always prolong life.

Endometrial Hyperplasia

Irregular periods, heavy periods, and prolonged bleeding (heavy bleeding for more than seven days) can all be symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia, the thickening of the uterine lining. Estimates are that between one and four percent of women with mild hyperplasia will, in time, develop uterine cancer. This statistic rises to more than 20 percent if the hyperplasia is advanced. Because the condition poses such a serious threat to your health, talk to your doctor about conventional treatment. Take the medication he or she offers to shed the uterine lining or have surgery to remove it. Also take the nutritional supplements and certain vitamins. You can take the herbal remedies, too, but only if you’ve had surgery, NOT if you’re taking medication to shed your uterine lining.

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