Endometrial Cancer: How To Spot The Early Warning Signs

The more we know about endometrial cancer, the more early screen testing can be done and save more Black lives. 

All anyone wants to do is live a long, happy and healthy life. However, sometimes we encounter health challenges that make it difficult to do everyday activities. Even worse, there’s not enough awareness surrounding some of the healthcare issues we face.  
Women’s health remains a taboo subject throughout the world, especially when it comes to gynecological health. In particular, the most common form of uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, continues to be on the rise among women, but it’s a topic it’s rarely discussed.

Even worse, communities of color keep the topic of endometrial cancer under lock and key, due mainly to a lack of knowledge. Only “53% of Black women receive an early diagnosis because of the stigmas surrounding conversations about gynecological health.” It’s definitely a difficult topic to discuss aloud. However, having these conversations can save more lives in the long run.

Specifically, discussing the early warning signs of endometrial cancer can save thousands of Black women from undesirable outcomes. Even better, it can decrease the death toll among female Black patients. Here are a few early signs of endometrial cancer that women should watch out for:

Unusual Bleeding Patterns

The most common sign of the chronic disease is irregular bleeding patterns. If women happen to notice that they’re bleeding outside of their normal menstrual cycle, then that’s a major cause for alarm.

Additionally, brownish discharges from the vaginal area aren’t a good sign either. It might be time to pay a visit to the doctor.

RELATED: Coffee May Lower Risk Of Endometrial Cancer

Postmenopausal Bleeding

Another early symptom may include Postmenopausal bleeding. It’s entirely common for women to have menstrual bleeding in the years leading up to menopause.

However, research dictates that if a “woman experiences bleeding past one year after their very last cycle,” then it’s time to seek out a healthcare provider.

The unusual bleeding could be a sign of an infection or a noncancerous growth. However, there’s a good chance that it could also be a sign of endometrial cancer. Getting early screening done, like a pap test and an endometrial biopsy, can address the problem immediately before the disease progresses.  

Women Experiencing Pain During Urination

Painful urination can also mean there’s a serious issue at play. Too often early signs like these may be mistaken for another condition. At times, they may even be overlooked by healthcare providers. However, even issues such as painful urination should be taken seriously by both patients and especially their healthcare providers.

Meagan Good, who became the spokeswoman for the endometrial cancer awareness organization Spot Her Campaign, says that it’s important for Black women to talk about their gynecology health in order to save lives.

“As women, it’s important that we speak up about gynecologic symptoms and advocate for our health when visiting our doctor,” Good told Contemporary OB/GYN. No matter how small or difficult a symptom may be to diagnose, it’s worth discussing with a trustworthy physician.

Pain During Intercourse

Unfortunately, endometrial cancer can also affect a woman’s sex life. Pain during intercourse may be an indicator of the disease as well. It can definitely put a lot of strain on any relationship; however, our health should always come first. By getting early testing done, we can catch major health scares before they arise.

Finding A Mass In Your Pelvic Area

Making matters worse, some women may notice a lump or unusual bump in their vaginal area. At that point, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. The doctor might perform an Internal Pelvic Examination, where they can feel for any lumps or changes in the shape of the uterus.

Meagan Good experienced a similar health scare after her gynecologist discovered that she had an abnormality in her uterus. More testing indicated that it could potentially become cancerous and was removed immediately. Good’s experience with endometrial cancer has taught her to catch the problem quickly before it becomes fatal.

In the end, speaking up about gynecological health within the Black community can really help save the lives of others. Too many Black women are dying from the chronic disease due to stigmas and lack of education. Knowledge is power at the end of the day. The more we know about endometrial cancer, the more early screen testing can be done and save more Black lives. 


On Key

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