Womb cancer is cancer that affects the womb.
The womb (uterus) is where a baby grows during pregnancy.
Most womb cancer usually starts in the lining of the womb (endometrium), this is also known as endometrial cancer.
How serious the womb cancer is depends on how big it is, if it has spread and your general health.
Main symptoms of womb cancer
The main symptoms of womb cancer can include:
- bleeding or spotting from the vagina after menopause
- heavy periods that are unusual for you
- vaginal bleeding between your periods
- a change to your vaginal discharge
Other symptoms of womb cancer can include:
- a lump or swelling in your tummy or between your hip bones (pelvis)
- pain in your lower back or between your hip bones (pelvis)
- pain during sex
- blood in your pee
Urgent advice: Talk to your GP if :
- you have any symptoms of womb cancer
Try not to be embarrassed, your GP or nurse will be used to talking about these kinds of symptoms.
These symptoms are common and can be caused by many different conditions.
Having them does not definitely mean you have womb cancer. But it's important to get the symptoms checked by your GP.
Do not wait to contact your GP. If the symptoms are caused by cancer, it can be easier to treat if it's found early.
What happens at your GP appointment
You will be asked about your health, family medical history and your symptoms.
Tell your GP if you or your family have any history of cancer or Lynch syndrome.
You may be need to be examined, you can ask for a female doctor or nurse.
You'll be asked to undress from the waist down, behind a screen. You'll be given a sheet to put over you.
Your GP may ask to check inside your vagina like they do during a cervical screening.
Your GP may:
- feel inside your vagina with 2 fingers while pressing on your tummy (they will be wearing gloves)
- feel inside your bottom
- gently put a smooth, tube-shaped tool (a speculum) into your vagina to look at your cervix
They may also ask to check your tummy area and inside your bottom to feel for any lumps or changes in size or shape.
Your GP will explain what will happen during these checks and answer any questions you have.
Referral to a specialist
The GP may refer you for more tests. They may refer you to see a specialist if they think you have a condition that needs to be investigated.
This may be an urgent referral if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.