Screening for endometrial cancer
Experts do not recommend screening healthy women at average risk for endometrial cancer. Even in high-risk women, regular screening for endometrial cancer may not improve cancer outcomes. It is important for women who are at high risk to discuss the benefits and limitations of endometrial screening with their doctor. Women with an inherited mutation in any of the following genes are considered at high risk for endometrial cancer:
Screening for endometrial cancer usually includes a combination of the following:
- Women should be educated on the possible signs of uterine cancer and report any of the following to their doctor:
- unusual vaginal bleeding
- pelvic or abdominal pain
- abdominal distension
- difficulty eating
- increased urinary frequency or urgency
- pain during sex
- During a pelvic exam, the doctor carefully feels the pelvic area for any changes that might be cancer.
- Transvaginal ultrasound uses sound waves to look for any thickening of the endometrium. The test works best for screening in post-menopausal women.
- Endometrial biopsies involve removing a small sample of endometrial tissue under local anesthesia. A pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope and perform special tests to look for cancer or other abnormalities. Endometrial biopsies are quick outpatient procedures.
Experts do not recommend routine endometrial cancer screening for women at average risk. Women should report any of the signs of endometrial cancer listed above to their doctor.