Uterine Sarcoma Causes and Risk Factors
Uterine sarcoma causes are not clearly known by medical scientists, as it is the case of most cancers. In addition, uterine sarcoma is a rare cancer; few researches have been done on it. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), approximately 12,900 women in the US have been diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in 2015, causing the death of about 4,100 of them; only 1% to 2% of these cancers are uterine sarcomas.
But some risk factors are suspected, which can be preventable or non-preventable; among them include:
Preventable Risk Factors
X-rays/External Radiation – it is shown that women who have undergone external radiation therapy or regularly exposure to high doses X-rays to their pelvis are at increased risk of developing cancer of the uterus. High doses of X-rays are sometimes given to women to stop uterine bleeding. Although maybe helpful, it can lead to uterine sarcoma.
Hormones – uterine cancer is diagnosed mostly in women who have risk factors for endometrial cancer: obesity, infertility, diabetes, late menarche (late onsetof first menstrual period), delayed menopausal… Taking tamoxifen or hormone replacement therapy with estrogen also puts a woman at higher risk.
Non- Preventable Risk Factors
Age – the cancer is extremely rare in young women. Middle aged or older women are more likely to suffer from uterine sarcoma. This cancer is most often diagnosed after menopause.
Race: in the US, it is shown that African-American women are more affected by leiomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that develops in muscular wall of the uterus, than white or Asian origin women.
Uterine Sarcoma Signs and Symptoms
Uterine sarcoma symptoms may vary depending on the type of tumor and the person affected by the disease. Although can be completely asymptomatic at beginning, there are some cases where few symptoms are present initially. The most common uterine sarcoma symptoms are minor pelvic pain and bleeding after menopause; when the woman stopped having periods; or bleeding unrelated to menstruation. In most cases, the vaginal bleeding is completely painless at early stages.
It is therefore important for any woman to consult her doctor if she experiences any of these symptoms:
• Pelvic pain
- Bleeding after menopause
• Small bleeding between periods,
• Abnormalvaginal discharge, with trace of blood or not.
While these symptoms may be the result of other health problems, they should be evaluated by a professional at earliest time possible to avoid complications in case they are symptoms of uterine sarcoma or another type ofcancer.