Are Endometrial Cancer And Uterine Cancer The Same
Uterine cancer can refer to either endometrial cancer, uterine sarcoma or other rare forms of cancer that arises in the uterus. But people often treat the terms endometrial cancer and uterine cancer the same. Thats because endometrial cancers are much more common than other cancers that arise in the uterus.
If You Are Having Very Difficult Symptoms Of Menopause Including Irregular Periods You Should Consider Some Changes To Your Lifestyle As Necessary
Please visit our Treatments page and Lifestyle pages for some information and inspiration on a wide variety of topics from Nutrition to Exercise, Sex and your changing home and wardrobe at midlife. Here at My Second Spring, we’re interested in chatting to you about all things midlife not just the pesky symptoms of menopause. We hope you’ll find lots of cool articles to read there and also on our blog.
The Course Of Perimenopause
A change in your periods is often the first sign of perimenopause, but there are other signs to look out for. The most common are hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and a decrease in sex drive. Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms. For those who have symptoms, they may come in any order.
Once these symptoms arrive, most women can expect menopause itself to be a few years away.
There are many treatments to help with bothersome symptoms like hot flashes and sleeplessness. Even a few years of hormone therapy can help you get through the worst of it.
If you are prone to anxiety or depression, know that perimenopause can bring those conditions back to the surface. Finding a support network can make a big difference. Antidepressants also may be an option.
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What Else Does An Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Show
If healthcare providers diagnose endometrial cancer, they also need to determine the type. The type helps the care team figure out the best treatment:
- Type 1 endometrial cancers are less aggressive. They usually dont spread to other tissues quickly.
- Type 2 endometrial cancers are more aggressive. Theyre more likely to spread outside of the uterus and need stronger treatment.
Hormonal Causes Of Severe Pain During Irregular Periods
The pain associated with irregular periods is usually caused by fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone. During menopause, estrogen and progesterone as well as some other hormones, are created in the body in less stable, consistent amounts. These fluctuations can cause a number of other menopausal symptoms as well, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
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Heavy Bleeding Flooding And Perimenopause
Very heavy bleeding occurs when your oestrogen levels are high relative to progesterone causing the lining of your womb to thicken more than usual. During perimenopause, your body’s main systems are working hard to adjust to the changing hormone levels that are taking place in advance of full menopause. The most difficult situation to handle is probably very heavy, extended bleeding, or flooding cycles. Some women find they are changing tampons every hour, sometimes having a very heavy bleed during inopportune times for example, at a formal dinner. This often happens at night as well as during the day. Make sure to wear liners and change tampons or pads very regularly.
If you have recurrent heavy and prolonged periods you may become anaemic as the body doesnt have time to make up for blood loss before the next period. You can end up feeling weak, exhausted, and maybe even depressed as a result of the anaemia, which then becomes associated with the menopause. Make sure to get help early on and don’t the situation develop.
Very heavy bleeding can also be caused by fibroids. If you experience prolonged heavy bleeding, seek professional advice from your GP, homoeopath or another health expert. Vaginal bleeding is not normal after the menopause so again get professional advice if this occurs.
Should You Worry About It
Often times abdominal pain does not indicate a serious condition. Since your ovaries are in the abdominal region, the pain could be coming from something else. Keep in mind that gastrointestinal ailments such as food poisoning, a stomach virus, or irritable bowel syndrome can cause abdominal pain and cramping. They can even pop up after eating certain foods or when under stress.
If you are still in the perimenopausal stage, treat cramps as you would during any period while they taper off. Over-the-counter pain meds such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. A heating pad or hot water bottle can soothe discomfort. Sometimes walking or other exercises can relieve discomfort along with easing stress which can make cramps worse.
Keep in mind that taking estrogen to ease menopausal symptoms and a family history of ovarian or uterine cancer are risk factors for you. Other things to consider are getting your period before age 12, cessation of periods after age 52, and the use of an IUD for birth control. Discuss any of these risk factors with your doctor.
Is Vaginal Bleeding An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
No, vaginal bleeding is not an early sign of normal pregnancy. If you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, you should visit your OBGYN for evaluation. Vaginal bleeding can be caused by many things other than pregnancy, including sexually transmitted infections, uterine growths called fibroids, and certain types of cancers.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Since dehydration can have such a negative impact on your joints, one of the first things you should do if you experience joint pain is to make sure you are drinking enough water. You should be looking to drink around 1.5-2 litres of plain water every day, over and above other drinks, such as coffee and tea.
If your joints are sore or creaky first thing then ease off as the day goes on, it may mean that you are really dehydrated during the night, so make sure that you drink a small glass of plain water about an hour before bed â this is really important if you are getting night sweats as these will dehydrate you further.
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Why Am I Still Spotting After My Period Ends
Continuous bleeding after a period can be caused by a many things. Most commonly, an abnormally long period may have no discernible cause. If it does not recur, it may require no further investigation. Continuous spotting may be a sign of a disorder in coagulation caused by either medication or a genetic disorder. It may also be a sign of infection of the vagina or cervix.
What Causes This Change
The cramps you feel during perimenopause are related to your hormone levels. Prostaglandins are hormones released by glands lining your uterus. These hormones direct your uterus to contract during your period. The higher your prostaglandin levels, the worse your cramps will be.
You produce more prostaglandins when your estrogen level is high. Estrogen levels often rise during perimenopause.
If your cramps are intense enough to bother you or affect your daily life, there are a number of things you can do to get relief. Here are some suggestions you can try.
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Menopause Symptoms Can Feel Like Pms
Some women develop symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome for the first time or have more acute levels of their normal PMS. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or emotional. Most of us will have had some level of PMS during the second half of the monthly cycle over the years. Symptoms may have been getting stronger during your 30s and 40s, approaching menopause. Most common symptoms are irritability, aggression, tearfulness, mood swings, breast pain and fluid retention.
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Increased Sensitivity To Pain
Sleeping poorly is notorious during menopause and research has proved that sleep deprivation increases our sensitivity to pain: a study from the University of California found that sleep deprivation can change the circuitry in the brain in ways that amplify pain.3
Low magnesium can also impact your pain perception,4 as well as causing sleeping problems. Poor levels of this essential nutrient are very common during menopause due to stress and digestive weakness.
Magnesium is also needed to keep your muscles relaxed, so low levels can cause them to tense up and become tight and stiff, which can impact the muscles that the control movement of the joints.
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Hot Flashes During Perimenopause
Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until , so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.
Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week; others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.
Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.
How To Avoid Painful Periods During Perimenopause
Perimenopause is a term used to refer to the period of physical and emotional changes that take place in a woman’s body in the years just prior to menopause. Perimenopause usually begins around the age of forty with menstrual irregularities, such as heavy, painful periods. These can range from mildly uncomfortable to lifestyle inhibiting. Painful periods may continue for around ten years as hormone levels continue to alter in preparation for the end of menstruation altogether, but this is not to say that you cannot take steps to minimize menstrual discomfort during perimenopause.
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What Treatments Are Available
If you havent completely gone through menopause and your cramps indicate that your periods are tapering off, you can treat them as you would period cramps. Your doctor might recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen .
Warmth can also help soothe your discomfort. Try putting a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen. You can also try exercise if you are not in too much pain. Walking and other physical activities help relieve discomfort as well as ease stress, which tends to make cramps worse.
When your cramps are caused by endometriosis or uterine fibroids, your doctor might recommend a medicine to relieve symptoms. Surgery can also be an option to remove the fibroid or endometrial tissue thats causing you pain.
How cancer is treated depends on its location and stage. Doctors often use surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy or radiation to kill cancer cells. Sometimes, doctors also use hormone medicines to slow the growth of cancer cells.
Ovulation Pain Or Midcycle Spotting
Mittelschmerz is a German word that translates as “middle pain.” It refers to the normal discomfort sometimes felt by women during ovulation, which is at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle.
Each month, one of the two ovaries forms a follicle that holds an egg cell. The pain occurs when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg.
This is a dull, cramping sensation that may begin suddenly in only one side of the lower abdomen. In a few cases, there may be vaginal spotting. Mittelschmerz occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.
Actual Mittelschmerz is not associated with nausea, vomiting, fever, or severe pelvic pain. These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical provider since they can indicate a more serious condition.
Diagnosis is made through patient history.
Treatment requires only over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. An oral contraceptive will stop the symptoms, since it also stops ovulation.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , last period approximately 2 weeks ago, vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pelvis pain
Symptoms that always occur with ovulation pain or midcycle spotting: last period approximately 2 weeks ago
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Other Drugs Used For Menopausal Symptoms
Despite its risks, hormone therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for hot flashes. There are, however, nonhormonal treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
The antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are sometimes used for managing mood changes and hot flashes. A low-dose formulation of paroxetine is approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. Other SSRIs and similar antidepressant medicines are used “off-label” and may have some benefit too. They include fluoxetine , sertraline , venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , and escitalopram .
Several small studies have suggested that gabapentin , a drug used for seizures and nerve pain, may relieve hot flashes. This drug is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for treating hot flash symptoms. However, in 2013 the FDA decided against approving gabapentin for this indication because the drug demonstrated only modest benefit. Gabapentin may cause:
Back Pain In Women In The Perimenopausal Period
PubMed databases were investigated. After the search was narrowed to menopausal status, back pain, 35 studies were found.
The selected studies were analyzed to verify whether they described the perimenopausal period of life, correlated back pain and menopausal status, divided the study group into sub-groups depending on the menopausal status .
Twenty-eight papers were excluded due to lack of information about back pain and menopausal status. Seven studies, which suited our area of research best, were thoroughly analyzed.
Most studies divided women into five groups:
Premenopausal women who had had a regular period in the past three months.
Early perimenopausal women who had an irregular period in the past three months.
Late perimenopausal women who had menstruated irregularly in the last 12 months but not in the last 3 months.
Postmenopausal women who had not menstruated in the last 12 months.
A separate group of women who have hormone replacement therapy.
All analyzed studies showed that women who are experiencing or experienced menopause suffered from increased joint and spine pain.
A long-term study by Szoeke et al. established that in the period of 8 years, the number of women suffering from back pain grew from 44% to 59%. Most women who took part in this study went from the premenopausal to postmenopausal stage during the study. The authors of the study also noticed a direct association between increased BMI and increased spine pain.
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Strengthen Your Muscles & Joints
While exercising is probably the last thing you want to do when your joints feel achy and sore, staying active is very important as it helps to increase the strength and flexibility of your joints, as well as in the muscles that surround the joints. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym!
Good options include:
- Non weight-bearing exercises
- Low-impact weight-bearing exercises
- Resistant, non-impact exercises .
Weight-bearing exercises are thought to help protect our bone mineral density as we age and can also help build muscle, which takes the pressure off your joints.
Try to focus on strengthening the muscles around the hip and knee joints as these are the joints that need to support your entire body weight.
It is also important to always warm-up before any exercise. Our Muscles and Joints advisor Earle Logan has a simple warm-up routine for any type of exercise which you can try.
Also, be aware, high impact exercises such as jogging on hard roads can exacerbate joint pain, although this is often eased with rest or with the use of compression stockings. It’s best to limit exercises which involve lots of pounding on your joints such as running and jumping.
In contrast, low-impact non-weight bearing exercise can be gentler on the joints but still help to build strength and increase the range of movements. Therefore, incorporating flexibility and non-impact, stretch work into your exercise plans is also a good option.
Does Ovarian Pain Get Worse During Perimenopause
Most women who menstruate experience abdominal cramps in varying degrees, including pain around the uterus, womb and ovaries. These cramps tend to be caused by the uterine muscles contracting to help the uterus shed its lining each month.Some women with underlying health conditions, like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease , or fibroids, may have more painful period cramps than others.During perimenopause, you may have longer, heavier periods and, therefore, suffer from more intense cramping sensations around your ovaries.
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When To See Your Doctor
If your cramps are severe, life-disrupting, or persistent, see your doctor. You should also make an appointment if:
- You just started getting cramps for the first time in your life, or theyve become more severe.
- Youre experiencing other symptoms, like heavy bleeding, weight loss, or dizziness.
During the exam, your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. Your doctor will also check your reproductive organs. You may get imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to find out if a problem with your ovaries is causing your cramps.
Severe Pain During Irregular Periods
During menopause, periods become more irregular and unpredictable. In some cases, this can also be accompanied by increased cramping or menstrual pain. Many women experience cramps, lower back pain, or soreness at some point during menstruation. However, changing hormonal balances within the body can amplify this pain during menopause.
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Ht Forms And Regimens
HT comes in several forms:
- Oral tablets or pills
- Vaginal ring
- Topical gel or spray
HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.
Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.
“Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.
The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Whats The Outlook For People With Uterine Cancer
The National Cancer Institute reports that the five-year survival rate for endometrial cancer is 81%. That means 81% of people diagnosed with the disease are alive five years later. The rate is even higher when cancer is localized and hasnt spread outside the uterus. Then the survival rate reaches as high as 95%. Treatments continue to improve, along with survival rates.
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The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
The average age of menopause is 51. Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having a menstrual period. Many people think that a woman stops having her period overnight when in reality, menopause is a process that can last for years.
The period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s. Some women may experience so few symptoms that they do not realize they have entered perimenopause . However, for others, symptoms can be severe and life-altering.
There are a total of 34 symptoms that can signify the arrival of menopause, which range from mild to disabling in nature.
What Are The Stages Leading Up To Menopause
After puberty, there are three other phases of female fertility:
- Pre-menopause: Women have full ovarian function, regularly produce estrogen and ovulate.
- Perimenopause: The ovaries begin to fluctuate in their ovulation and production of estrogen, which can result in unpredictable menstrual cycles and symptoms.
- Menopause: When the ovaries have shut down. Someone would be in menopause after 12 months without menses.
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Heat It Up Or Cool It Down
Not sure whether to use heat or ice for your joint pain? Both are inexpensive and easy ways to ease pain but help in different ways.
Heat, such as heating pads or warm baths, tends to work best for stiffness. It can help improve the flexibility of tendons and ligaments which can ease stiff joints, as well as relax and soothe tired muscles.
Cold therapies such as ice packs can help to numb nerve endings, dulling pain and restricting blood vessels, slowing circulation and reducing swelling.
How Long Are Normal Perimenopause Periods
Ordinarily, your menstrual cycle occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts from 2 to 7 days. However, perimenopause periods can last much longer. Some months, the ovaries might not produce sufficient levels of estrogen and progesterone, preventing menstruation altogether. Other months, the imbalance might cause the uterine lining to become overly thick, which means it will take longer to be shed by your body to shed.
Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.
If youve had periods that are several days longer or more frequent or heavier than usual, its a good idea to see your doctor.
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Whos At Risk For Uterine Cancer
There are several risk factors for endometrial cancer. Many of them relate to the balance between estrogen and progesterone. These include morbid obesity, a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome or taking unopposed estrogen. A genetic disorder known as Lynch syndrome is another risk factor unrelated to hormones.
Risk factors include:
Age, lifestyle and family history:
- Age: As women get older, the likelihood of uterine cancer increases. Most uterine cancers occur after age 50.
- Diet high in animal fat: A high-fat diet can increase the risk of several cancers, including uterine cancer. Fatty foods are also high in calories, which can lead to obesity. Extra weight is a uterine cancer risk factor.
- Family history: Some parents pass on genetic mutations for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer . This inherited condition raises the risk for a range of cancers, including endometrial cancer.
- Diabetes: This disease is often related to obesity, a risk factor for cancer. But some studies suggest a more direct tie between diabetes and uterine cancer as well.
- Obesity : Some hormones get changed to estrogen by fat tissue, raising uterine cancer risk. The higher the amount of fat tissue, the greater the effect on estrogen levels.
- Ovarian diseases: Women who have certain ovarian tumors have high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels. These hormone changes can increase uterine cancer risk.
Menstrual and reproductive history: