South Texans experience higher gynecological cancer rates than many other places in the U.S. Endometrial cancer screening helps doctors detect disease, often before it causes symptoms.
At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, we provide endometrial cancer screening for women who have Lynch syndrome in their family.
What you need to know about endometrial cancer and screening
Endometrial cancer develops from cells that line the inside of the uterus (womb). It is the most common type of uterine cancer.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of endometrial cancer. See your doctor if you experience bleeding after menopause or in the middle of your menstrual cycle. You should also see your doctor if you miss more than three periods in a row. Being overweight increases your risk.
Endometrial cancer doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms, especially in early stages. Some symptoms may be vague, such as abdominal pain or pressure. These nonspecific symptoms can make early detection challenging.
If Lynch syndrome (an inherited cancer syndrome) runs in your family, you may have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer. Genetic testing helps us identify and manage your risk. Read more about our cancer genetics and high-risk screening clinic.
Women who have a high risk of endometrial cancer may benefit from yearly testing, even without symptoms. Screening helps doctors detect cancer soon after it develops, which may lead to treatment benefits.
Not all insurance providers or plans cover endometrial cancer screenings. We recommend you check with your insurance provider before scheduling a screening. If your plan does not cover the cost of these tests, we will work with you to discuss your options.
If you have endometrial cancer, the gynecologic cancer experts at Mays Cancer Center can help. We take a team approach to endometrial cancer care, tailoring treatment to your needs. Learn more about our gynecologic oncology program.
Learn more about endometrial cancer screening
If you’re at high risk for endometrial cancer, you may benefit from regular screening tests. Call the experts at our Gynecologic Oncology Clinic to discuss what’s right for you.
Knowing what’s normal for your body can help you safeguard your health. Many common, routine health problems can cause your body’s menstrual cycle to change over time.
Rarely, irregular or heavier bleeding or other gynecologic symptoms can be an early sign of cancer. If you feel like something’s not right or if you miss four periods in a row, see your gynecologist for an evaluation.
Based on current scientific evidence, we recommend only women at high risk for endometrial cancer get screened regularly. You are considered to have a high risk if you have (or a family member has) Lynch syndrome. Also called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Lynch syndrome is an inherited cancer syndrome. It causes a genetic type of colon cancer and increases risk for several other cancers.
If you have an increased endometrial cancer risk, we recommend you receive the following screening tests once a year:
Transvaginal ultrasound: A doctor guides a wand-shaped imaging tool into the vagina to show clear detail of the female reproductive organs. This test is a type of pelvic ultrasound.
Endometrial biopsy: During this procedure, a surgeon guides a thin suction tube through the vagina and removes a small piece of tissue from the uterus lining (endometrium). A pathologist (doctor trained in diagnosis) examines tissue cells under a microscope, looking for signs of cancer.
If you have had endometrial cancer, you have unique screening needs. Our gynecologic oncologists can help protect your long-term health by tailoring a screening plan for your situation.