Uterine cancer screening does not exist in a simple and dependable form. Therefore, it is especially important for women to learn about the risks of developing uterine, or endometrial, cancer and to be able to recognize common warning signs of the condition. Some tests that can aid in uterine cancer screening and detection include:
- Pelvic exam – A physician examines and manipulates the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder and rectum to identify masses, lumps or thickening. Pelvic exams have not proven to be effective in detecting early uterine cancers, but they can find some advanced uterine cancers.
- Pap test (or Pap smear) – A physician collects a sample of cells from the cervix, which are sent to a lab for evaluation. The Pap test is designed to screen for cervical cancer, and it is not routinely used to screen for uterine cancer. However, this easily performed test can sometimes show signs of an abnormal endometrium (lining of the uterus), which can be confirmed by follow-up tests.
- Other methods under study – Additional uterine cancer screening tests are currently being researched and utilized in clinical trials.
Because routine uterine cancer screening is not yet available, a woman is advised to pay close attention to unusual vaginal bleeding, which is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer. If a woman experiences vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods or after menopause, or bleeds excessively during a menstrual period, she should see a doctor right away. Women who are experiencing symptoms or have questions about uterine cancer screening are encouraged to visit the gynecological clinic at Moffitt Cancer Center. We follow a unique multispecialty approach to care, and each patient benefits from several expert opinions. Providing premier service and comprehensive care in a single location is central to our mission, and we are proud to treat more patients with gynecologic and breast cancers than any other hospital in the state of Florida. If you have questions about uterine cancer screening and would like to complete a new patient registration form, please call 1-888-663-3488. You never need a referral to consult with a physician at Moffitt.