Here is Renee's interview with Dr. Helen Stolyar, an Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.
She shares important information regarding Postmenopausal Bleeding and endometrial cancer, which is a major health problem that many women face.
What causes postmenopausal bleeding to happen?
There are many things that could cause it, including both cancerous and non-cancerous things. When cancers grow in the uterus, they have a lot of blood supply, so you can see spotting or bleeding from that. But it can also be caused by benign things like irritation, infection, hormone therapy, medication side effects, thinning of the vaginal and uterine tissue that come with a lack of estrogen supply during menopause, and benign growths on the lining of the uterus.
Is postmenopausal bleeding common?
About 4-11% of women experience postmenopausal bleeding.
What is the chance that a woman has endometrial cancer if she experiences postmenopausal bleeding?
Up to 14% of patients with postmenopausal bleeding are diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Vaginal bleeding is the first sign seen in over 90% of women with endometrial cancer. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the chance of getting cured, so the key to having the best possible outcome is to get evaluated at the next available office appointment.
How common is endometrial cancer?
A: Endometrial cancer is the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. It has become much more common over the past decade. About 1 in 37 women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer each year. Unfortunately, based on the trends we have seen over the past few years, it seems like it will continue to become more and more common. That is why we are reaching out to the community to make people aware of the symptoms to watch out for.
Resources are available for people who want to learn more about endometrial cancer.
You can ask your doctor, or you can visit www.cancer.gov.