Uterus cancer

I am 34 years old and was diagnosed at 32 with Uterus cancer and had a hysterectomy that left us childless.

Endometrial cancer affects mainly postmenopausal women.

The average age of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer is 60.

It is uncommon in women under the age of 45.

So even in statistics of cancer I’m one of the odd ones out, yet again.

This year, an estimated 61,380 women in the United States will be diagnosed with uterine endometrial cancer. Uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women. The incidence of endometrial cancer is rising, mostly because of a rise in obesity, which is an important risk factor for this disease. It is estimated that 10,920 deaths from this disease will occur this year. It is the sixth most common cause of cancer death among women.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percentage of women live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percentage means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for women with uterine cancer is 82%. When the cancer is diagnosed, if it is still confined to the area where it started, it is called “local,” and the 5-year survival rate is about 95%.

So I was lucky.

I still get Zoladex inplant every three months as they only removed my womb. So twice a year I go for a serious of tests and awaiting an operation date to remove stage 4 endometrioses and my ovaries due to cysts that was left after my operation as it was done vaginally.

If the cancer has spread regionally, the 5-year survival rate is about 69%. If it is diagnosed after the cancer has spread into other areas of the body, the survival rate is 17%. It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for women with uterine cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of women with this cancer in the United States.

Experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years, so the estimate may not show the results of better diagnoses or treatments available for less than 5 years. Women should talk with their doctor if they have questions about this information.

Endometrial cancer starts when cells in the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed.

Although certain factors increase a woman's risk for developing endometrial cancer, they do not always cause the disease. Many women with one or more risk factors never develop endometrial cancer. Some women with endometrial cancer do not have any known risk factors. Even if a woman with endometrial cancer has one or more risk factors, there is no way to know which, if any, of these factors was responsible for her cancer.

Several factors influence the risk of developing endometrial cancer, including:

  • Things that affect hormone levels, like taking estrogen after menopause, birth control pills, or tamoxifen; the number of menstrual cycles (over a lifetime), pregnancy, obesity, certain ovarian tumors, and polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Use of an intrauterine device
  • Age
  • Diet and exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Family history (having close relatives with endometrial or colorectal cancer)
  • Having been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer in the past
  • Having been diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia in the past
  • Treatment with radiation therapy to the pelvis to treat another cancer

Some of these, like pregnancy, birth control pills, and the use of an intrauterine device are linked to a lower risk of endometrial cancer, while many are linked to a higher risk. So it could have been my PCOS that flared the cancer, could it have been my weight? Or was it just fate with a twist of bad luck? I shall never know.

What I do know that if I did more yearly tests, if I did take more care of my body, had less stress I might have just not have gotten this cancer. Yet again was it my fault or was it just in my destiny?

Women who have been pregnant appear to be at a lower risk for breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer. Women who have had children, particularly if they also breastfed following pregnancy, have a lower risk of getting these cancers.

The women's cancer nobody talks about is Gynecological. We’re thrown into menopause in our twenties, lose the possibility to have biological children, and struggle with our sex life. But they (society) don't talk about it. For while breast cancer is a business: pink ribbons and celebrities - gynecological cancer is still taboo.

I really wish the stigma could change.

If I had known about these cancers I might have been a mum. Uterus removal – hysterectomy – is the most common gynaecological surgical procedure. Nevertheless, there are hardly any studies concerning women’s experiences related to this, particularly young women’s experiences.

For me it feels like they have removed what made me into a woman.

I hope society can get more information to young women so that these cancers can be prevented or early detection. Being childless is really a merry go round experience it’s life changing and never easy. It’s a daily struggle

If I could have had a choice between a long life without my womb and cancer free, or a child and death by cancer I would have given anything to choose to be a mom. Even if it meant to die off cancer, I would rather have taken a thousand years of pain and suffering just to be a mom.

If only…