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Bleeding After Endometrial Cancer

written by: Lisa Good • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/20/2011

Bleeding after endometrial cancer can be very common or can indicate a complication. Learn when bleeding is abnormal and what needs to be done about it.

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    Endometrial Cancer

    Endometrial cancer is the most common form of uterine cancer. Most cases occur after menopause and the patient is usually between 60 and 70 years of age. The exact cause of endometrial cancer is unknown but it is linked to increased estrogen levels in the body. There are factors that can increase a woman's chance of getting endometrial cancer such as family history, diabetes, obesity and never being pregnant. Bleeding can take place after treatment for endometrial cancer and can be a common side effect or a problem.

    uterus 

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    Bleeding After Surgical Interventions

    Bleeding after endometrial cancer surgical interventions can be very common. There are many surgical interventions that may be used to diagnosis or treat endometrial cancer.

    A biopsy may be performed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. This is when a section of tissue is removed from the site of the suspected malignancy and sent to a pathology lab where they will determine if the specimen is malignant or benign. A dilation and curettage may be performed. This procedure removes tissue from the lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated and a curettage is used to remove tissue samples to send to the pathology lab. A partial or full hysterectomy may be performed if there is a tumor of the cervix or uterus.

    It is normal for bleeding to occur after these procedures. The amount of blood can vary depending on the procedure. It is important to discuss the expected amount with your physician. During the recovery period, the bleeding should decrease. If it starts to increase again, this can be considered abnormal and should be reported to your physician. Excessive clotting can also indicate a complication and should be discussed with your physician.

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    Bleeding After Treatment Has Been Completed

    If the patient has undergone treatment for endometrial cancer and has been declared in remission bleeding can be a sign of recurrence. The main sign of endometrial cancer is bleeding after menopause. Bleeding after treatment has been completed is the main sign of recurrence and a physician should be consulted immediately.

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    Conclusion

    Bleeding can be a normal occurrence after a surgical intervention has been performed to diagnosis or treat endometrial cancer. Bleeding is considered abnormal if it is heavier than what you were told to expect from your physician, if the flow increases from previous days during the recovery period and if more clots appear than expected. It is also important to discuss with your physician how long the bleeding should last.

    If any bleeding occurs after the patient has been in remission a physician should be contacted immediately as it could indicate a recurrence of the endometrial cancer.

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    References

    American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@healthpromotions/documents/document/acsq-020994.pdf

    Web MD: http://women.webmd.com/endometrial-biopsy?page=3

    Image source: www.publicdomainpictures.net