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What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of cancer of the uterus is unusual vaginal bleeding. This may include:

  • a change in your periods
  • heavier than usual periods
  • bleeding between periods
  • constant bleeding (periods that continue without a break)
  • bleeding or spotting after menopause.

A less common symptom is a smelly, watery vaginal discharge. In rare cases, symptoms include abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, difficulty urinating or a change in bowel habit.

Any of these symptoms can happen for other reasons, but it is best to see your doctor for a check-up.

Which health professionals will I see?

Your general practitioner (GP) will arrange the first tests to assess any symptoms. If these tests do not rule out cancer, you will be referred to a gynaecological oncologist or gynaecologist for more tests. If uterine cancer is diagnosed, the specialist will consider treatment options. To ensure the best outcome, it is recommended that you are treated in a specialist centre for gynaecological cancer.

Treatment options will often be discussed with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. During and after treatment, you’ll see a range of health professionals for various aspects of your care.

gynaecological oncologistdiagnoses and performs surgery for cancers of the female reproductive system, e.g. uterine, cervical, ovarian, vulvar and vaginal cancers
gynaecologistspecialises in diseases of the female reproductive system; may diagnose cancer of the uterus and then refer you to a gynaecological oncologist
radiation oncologisttreats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy
medical oncologisttreats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy (systemic treatment)
cancer care coordinatorcoordinates your care, liaises with other members of the MDT and supports you and your family throughout treatment; care may also be coordinated by a clinical nurse consultant (CNC) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
nurseadministers drugs and provides care, information and support throughout treatment
fertility specialistdiagnoses, treats and manages infertility and reproductive hormonal disorders
women’s health physiotherapistassists with physical problems associated with gynaecological cancers, such as bladder and bowel issues, sexual issues and pelvic pain
lymphoedema practitionereducates people about lymphoedema prevention and management, and provides treatment if lymphoedema occurs; often a physiotherapist
dietitianrecommends an eating plan to follow during and after treatment
social workerlinks you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical or financial issues
psychologist, counsellorhelp you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment

Featured resources

Endometrial Cancer - Your guide to best cancer care

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Understanding Cancer of the Uterus

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed March 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: A/Prof Jim Nicklin, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor Gynaecologic Oncology, The University of Queensland, QLD; Dr Robyn Cheuk, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Prof Michael Friedlander, Medical Oncologist, The Prince of Wales Hospital and Conjoint Professor of Medicine, The University of NSW, NSW; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Gynaecological Cancer, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Adele Hudson, Statewide Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gynaecological Oncology Service, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Dr Anthony Richards, Gynaecological Oncologist, The Royal Women’s Hospital and Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, VIC; Georgina Richter, Gynaecological Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.