Early detection is key to increasing your chances of beating any type of cancer. And endometrial cancer is no exception. This form of cancer, which affects the lining of the womb, is the most common form of gynecologic cancer and the fourth most common cancer in women diagnosed in the United States — but it has a high survival rate when caught early. Because there are no specific screening tests, the best way to know if you may have endometrial cancer is to recognize the signs and symptoms and know your risk factors.
With the help of experts like Shawana Moore, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC, a women’s health nurse and a member of the HealthyWomen Women’s Health Advisory Council (WHAC), we have developed a program to help women better understand endometrial cancer and the questions they should ask their healthcare provider about the condition.
In our program, we emphasize the importance of early detection for women of color, who have lower survival rates compared to white women in all stages of endometrial cancer. Daihnia Dunkley, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Nursing and a member of our WHAC, stated, “The injustices of endometrial cancer [have many different causes]including delayed diagnosis, sometimes due to inequalities or inconsistencies in treatment by the provider, and sometimes due to poor reporting of symptoms by the patient.”
We also share the Real Women, Real Stories of Kristen Lummis, who was unaware that her family history of Lynch Syndrome puts her at higher risk for endometrial cancer, and Josephine Casanova, whose heavy menstrual bleeding turned out to be endometrial cancer. Both brave women emphasize the importance of empowering yourself and talking to your doctor about your symptoms.
Read on to learn more about screening, prevention, and treatment of this common disease.