NEVER IGNORE ABNORMAL VAGINAL BLEEDING

Brought to you by Peaches Womb Cancer Trust, The Eve Appeal and GSK

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Spotted unexpected bleeding?

In the UK, approximately 9,700 women and people with gynae organs are diagnosed with womb cancer each year – that’s 27 people every day.i

Approximately 90% of cases are identified due to the presence of abnormal vaginal bleeding.ii

Spot the signs of womb cancer.

The most common symptom of womb cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Abnormal vaginal bleeding can be any of the following:iii

  • Any vaginal bleeding after the menopause (including spotting or blood in discharge)
  • Bleeding between your periods (before the menopause)
  • Periods that are heavier than normal for you (before the menopause)
  • ‘Blood-stained’ vaginal discharge which can be pink, red or brown
  • Bleeding after sexiv

If you notice any of the above changes to your normal bleeding pattern, or any other unexpected or unexplained bleeding, it is always important to discuss these with your GP.

These symptoms will most likely be caused by something other than cancer, but it is always worth getting checked, just in case.

Womb cancer is very treatable if caught early. Approximately 90% of people diagnosed with womb cancer at early stage (Stage 1) will survive for five years or more. In contrast, just 15% of those diagnosed at late stage (Stage 4) will survive for five years or more.v Unfortunately, approximately 1 in 5 people are currently still diagnosed with advanced disease (Stage 3&4).vi Detecting cancer as early as possible is one of the most effective ways of improving survival.

The cervical screening programme (smear test) is not designed to detect womb cancer. It primarily tests for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus which is associated with cervical cancer and if present, looks for signs of early cell changes. If you have any abnormal bleeding, even if you have had a normal cervical screening test, you should still see your GP.

If your symptoms have been checked but you still have concerns or your symptoms have worsened, please visit your GP as soon as you can.

Never ignore abnormal bleeding. Spot the signs of womb cancer.

References

i. Cancer Research UK. Uterine cancer incidence statistics. Available at: Uterine cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK. Last accessed: August 2023.

ii. Cancer Research UK. Womb cancer symptoms. Available at: Womb cancer symptoms | Cancer research UK. Last accessed: August 2023.

iii. NHS. Womb (uterus) cancer – Symptoms. Available at: Womb (uterus) cancer – Symptoms – NHS (www.nhs.uk). Last accessed: August 2023.

iv. Tarney, C.M. and Han, J. (2014). Postcoital Bleeding: A Review on Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management. Obstetrics and Gynecology International, 2014. Available at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ogi/2014/192087/. Last accessed: August 2023.

v. Cancer Research UK. Womb cancer survival. Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/womb-cancer/survival. Last accessed: August 2023.

vi. CRUK Cancer Intelligence. Early Diagnosis: Proportion diagnosed by Stage. Available at: https://crukcancerintelligence.shinyapps.io/EarlyDiagnosis/. Last accessed August 2023.

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