Symptoms and causes

Internal genitalia

What is it?

The uterus, vagina (scabbard), ovaries and fallopian tubes belong to the woman's internal genitalia. They are located in the lower part of the abdominal cavity (the small pelvis). The small and large labia, the clitoris and the entrance to the vagina belong to the external genitalia.

The uterine body has the shape and size of an inverted pear. The main function of the uterus is to implant a fertilised embryo. The embryo grows into a foetus and remains there until the baby is born.

Although uterine cancer and cervical cancer both originate in the uterus, they have a very different cause and disease progression. The treatment of these two diseases is also different. Unlike cervical cancer, almost all cases of uterine cancer are of the adenocarcinoma type. If the cancer originates in the uterine muscule wall, then it is usually a uterine sarcoma. A sarcoma is a very different type of cancer.

Symptoms

Vaginal bleeding is usually the first symptom. In 85% of the cases, the first symptom is bleeding that happens after menopause. In 15% of the cases, menstrual irregularities during menapause indicate a problem. Problems can also arise with urination or bowel movements.

Diagnosis and treatment

Treatment of uterine cancer depends on the extent of the disease and the general condition of the patient. The treatment may consist of:

Treatment centres and specialisations

Integrated Cancer Centre in Ghent
Gynaecological Centre
General gynaecology

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Van Den Broecke Dirk