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18:10 PM

10TV: What you need to know about endometrial cancer

Earlier this week, PBS journalist Gwen Ifill died following a year-long battle with endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is actually quite common; in fact, is the most common female reproductive cancer. In this country, just over 60,000 cases are diagnosed yearly, with about 10,000 women passing away from it. When caught early, however, it is highly treatable.

Endometrial cancer develops in the inner-lining of the uterus. It typically affects women who are post-menopausal and is very uncommon in younger women.

Following Ifill’s passing, 10TV anchor Tracy Townsend came to the OhioHealth Arthur G.H. Bing, MD, Cancer Center to interview Gary Reid, MD, gynecological oncologist with OhioHealth Gynecologic Cancer Surgeons, about this type of cancer. As there is no screening for endometrial cancer, Dr. Reid spoke to Tracy about what signs and symptoms women need to keep an eye out for. A major symptom of endometrial cancer is when post-menopausal women experience spotting.

“90 percent of people with endometrial cancer will have bleeding or spotting,” said Dr. Reid. “You’d be surprised how many people think ‘at 64, my periods are just starting again, that’s kind of odd.’ Then they watch it for months and months. We’d rather get them in when this starts.”

Obesity is also a risk factor for this type of cancer.

If not caught early, there is the risk that the cancer will spread to other reproductive areas like the cervix and to other nearby organs, such as the bladder. Treatment options include removing the uterus, chemotherapy and radiation.

To learn more about the gynecologic cancer program at OhioHealth, please click here.