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Womb (uterus) cancer

A place for people affected by womb cancer (also known as uterus or endometrial cancer) to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Possible womb cancer? Please advise.

Nokings
Posted by

Hello everyone.  

History: 29, first period 10, no children, fit, no pcos, periods tend to be on the heavier side, but not excessively. 28 day cycle, like clockwork, usually 6 days long. 

2 months ago, I noticed the first day of my period a thick, brown discharge was present. Figured it was old blood expelling. Period carried on as normal. Last month, my period started out pinkish. I was extremely stressed and undernourished and attributed it to that. My period then became very bright red (never have had a period color like that) and as it ended, it was brownish. I wound consider this to have been watery in nature. An odor was also present. I should also note I was urinating blood. As in, the toilet water would look pink, then it would look normal. I had tested for utis and those came back negative as well as other bacterial infections. 

Today I had a gyno appt. Had some ultrasounds done. My uterine lining is 9mm thick. I also have cysts on my ovaries. She wasn't too concerned about those. She did a papsmear just to take samples and upon doing so, my cervix bled a small amount.

She said based on my age and the fact that I'm not overweight, my risk is low, but I know something isn't right. I do believe the only way to test for endometrial cancer is to take tissue samples to detect any cancer cells. She said as of "right now" it's too early to tell if my uterine lining is problematic and wants to follow up in a couple months, but I can't shake the feeling something is not right. I don't want to wait. I also feel like since I don't fit into the typical suspect for this cancer, I'll be overlooked. 

When I wipe, I still smell an odor that is not my normal scent. I don't have discharge currently or pain. What do I do? I am fearing the worst. Any feedback is appreciated. 

Little lamb
Posted by

Hi Nokings and welcome to the site although I am sorry to find you here. I am glad that you have been able to see your doctor and that she is running tests for you. Have you had the results of your pap smear yet? Although I know the anxiety is overwhelming in these situations please try not to worry and overthink things. There could be many reasons for your symptoms . The endometrial lining thickness varies at certain points in the month depending on where you are in your cycle depending on whether it is building up in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg to nurture it. If that isn't the case then it sheds as your period. Although you can experience womb cancer at a young age it is quite rare and as you say you are young and fit. The odour and watery discharge could be down to a condition known as bacterial vaginosis,(BV) which frequently gets muddled up with thrush(thick white discharge like cottage cheese, no odour and intense itching) both can be treated with over the counter treatments from a pharmacy. Blood colour varies as you know. You can start a period with a link flow which God's to bright red then brown as it's ending. The bleeding cervix may have happened if they caught you with the speculum, the thing they insert before taking the sample of it they took the sample too roughly. It could be several things but your doctor/gynaecologist is doing the correct thing by running tests to get the usual culprits out of the way. You are being followed up in a couple of months so they haven't discharged you or forgotten you. I know that still won't stop you from worrying but please don't put your mind into overdrive or Google symptoms because you won't do yourself any favours. I am not a doctor but I am trained to advise and work with medicines in pharmacy. Keep talking to us or if you have any further questions which can be answered by a medical professional use the Macmillan advisors in the ask a nurse/expert tabs on the home page. We know the nitty gritty bits of having been through the journey and are full of hints and tips and experience and no question is too stupid or personal so ask away ok. In the meantime you take care. Love and hugs. Lamb.xx 

they insert

Nokings
Posted by

Thank you for your insight and reply. I was tested for BV and that came back negative. My ultrasound also showed my ovaries were enlarged a bit. She said my uterus itself looked normal on the ultrasound at least, but my lining was thick.

As for the bleeding, it just wasn't normal for me. For almost 20 years, my periods have been the exact same. Same colors, flow, length, with the exception of these last 2. I have never had irregular periods or an odor with them.

When I got home last night, the discharge (light pink/light brown) was present after my ultrasound and pap. 

If I was 59 rather than 29, there would be no doubt that they would get a sample of my lining. Do you think a second opinion should be had? 

Thanks again.

Little lamb
Posted by

Hi again, you can always get a second opinion, you are entitled to that but why not wait until the doctor follows you up in a month or so? I know it means more waiting but even if say it is womb cancer it is very slow growing, one of the better ones to have they say as it is contained within the uterus. To be honest a couple of months is not really going to make much difference and although I can understand your anguish it won't suddenly pack its bag and go on a jaunt around your body. If things haven't improved by the time you see the doctor again she will more than likely refer you for further tests starting with a hysteroscopy where they put a small camera through the cervix to have a look I side the womb. If anything looks amiss like a polyp say they can take a biopsy whilst they are doing it to check it isn't sinister. If it's your cervix that's worrying you they do a similar test called a colposcopy where it magnifies the cells on the cervix but that would follow on from your pap smear if it was abnormal. Other conditions could be an early menopause which again is fairly rare or even fibroids which would make your periods heavier. Don't forget too that we sweat in that area, particularly when it is hot which can produce some different odours as well and old blood  can be a bit whiffy. (I hope you aren't eating!) So you can see that it could be related to any number of things. I always try to climb the tree from the bottom and work slowly to the top which is what your doctor is doing. Trust them because no doctor would ignore the risk of cancer knowingly..It wouldn't be worth it and would damage their career. If you are still worried, and I know that no amount  of telling you not to doesn't relieve the anxiety , can I please urge you to contact one  of the Macmillan nurses who are much more knowledgeable  and deal with this on a daily basis in their work. They will be able to put your mind at rest. In the meantime , apart from telling you not to worry, try and keep yourself busy and find something you enjoy doing to take your mind off things until you can get back to the doctor..I'm sure they have your concerns at heart and will get to the bottom of your problem very soon. (Oops, perhaps I should rephrase that!). Hoping that you get some answers soon. Remember you are not alone in this. Love and prayers. Lamb.xx

NannyAnny
Posted by

Hi Nokings,

In my experience any hormone upset can trigger weird periods. I had 2 miscarriages when younger and had some very weird periods afterwards. I also think your emotions affect them (they certainly did with me). Usually very regular, I well remember missing a period when my eldest went to university!!!! You say you have been stressed, maybe you need a rest. (a holiday in normal times) Did it coincide with the present lockdown? I know both my girls were very weepy when it first happened.(ages 43 and 45) 

I think I would wait until things are a bit more settled, then get checked again. And try to relax (difficult at the moment).  xxxxx

Nokings
Posted by

Thanks for both the replies. I've been trying to relax about it but there's so much uncertainty. What makes me a little more uneasy is that I looked at my health records from 10 years ago at a local hospital. It was when I had a ruptured cyst and they did an ultrasound then. My uterine lining was 10mm. They did a bunch of pregnancy tests because that's generally the only time uterine lining should be that thick. Obviously wasn't pregnant then nor am I now. So the fact that it's been 9/10mm thick for at least 10 years worries me.

My ovaries were also enlarged in the most recent ultrasound. I'm about 124 pounds, but my lower stomach (where the uterus is) has always stuck out as though I'm pregnant. Actually around 2 years ago is when I noticed being bloated very easily and my stomach sticking out. All things considered, it makes me pretty distressed.

Thank you both for your replies. They are very helpful and informative. I appreciate it.

Rawdoodles
Posted by

Hi Nokings

did they tell you how thick the lining was when you had a scan? Mine was 17mm when I said wow that’s bad isn’t it the consultant said not necessarily because during your cycle the lining can get quite thick as it’s preparing for an egg so I wouldn’t worry about the 9mm 10 years ago as it could be normal for your cycle and where you were in it. I have a thick lining and it is thicker than it should but I’ve had a biopsy and there were no abnormal cells fortunately. I am now being treated with progesterone. Pills at the moment I’m waiting to have a hysteroscopy and the coil fitted which was supposed to be June 1st but that’s now been postponed due to covid and I don’t have a new day yet which has got me down a bit as iv been bleeding constantly on these pills for 8 weeks. I’m hoping in that time my lining is a lot thinner! 

Nat x

Rawdoodles
Posted by

Sorry Nokings 

I just re read your original post I missed the bit where you said it was 9mm when you had your most recent scan. This could be normal for you depend where you are in your cycle. I get it though when you feel like something isn’t right and unfortunately when your young like us (I’m 32) you have to be persistent because we can get fobbed off due to our age but your well within your right to a 2nd opinion or to ask for more tests to be done. I had to push for everything iv had done and we shouldn’t have to. 
nat x