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I know the difference between the two, but can anyone clarify if there is any difference in symptoms?
They seem to be very similar.
Thanks.

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Hi BillieCat,

Great question! You are correct in that many of the symptoms are the same, or closely similar, for both ovarian and uterine cancer.

Some of the primary symptoms of uterine cancer are:


  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially new onset
  • Heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods, especially new onset
  • Watery pink or white discharge from the [censored]
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Enlarged uterus


Uterine cancer is actually more common that ovarian cancer and it occurs mostly in menopausal women.

For a list of ovarian symptoms please see Ovarian Cancer Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention.

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Thanks a lot Rhonda:

It has been a question of mine for awhile, and I couldn't find many places that say how to really distinguish between the two. I have signs of both, except an enlarged uterus. Nothing showed on my transvaginal ultrasound except some thickening of the uterus.
I have to go back for more tests since I have had more bleeding and more symptoms. The Gyn. will do a scope and a biopsy. Right now, he thinks I am not at a big risk for either cancer since I am 35,thin, and don't smoke - but I have had family members with cancer that were the picture of health. My Gyn. also says it may be pre-cancer changes, hormone dropping, or the beginning of polyps.
I also have IBS so that may be the cause of all the bloating, etc, but it may also not be. It has been since January that I have had these disturbances and I really don't feel the same.

Thanks again for the info. Ovarian cancer has been more visible in its information than uterine.

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Hi BilliCat,

The problem with most of the symptoms for ovarian and uterine cancer is that they are also the symptoms for many other non-cancerous conditions. There is just no way to know for sure without going through testing. The testing process can be very stressful. You have to wait for the test to be scheduled. Then you have to wait for the results of the test. It just seems an eternity before you ever get your results.

Uterine cancer is more common than ovarian cancer but you are right in that ovarian cancer gets more press.

I hope your doctors are able to find some answers for you soon. Please keep us posted!

Take care,

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I'm glad I found this thread. I am having an ultrasound and endometrial biopsy today. They also ran the FSH test last week (I will hear the results today). I am 42 and have not had periods for about 2 years. At first they thought it was thyroid (I am hypo-) but that was addressed and periods did not return. In 2005, they put me back on birth control, which kicked things into gear for a few months, but again it stopped and never returned (I no longer take the pill). I have recently started spotting and have pain during sex. Cancer does not run in the family, but a host of other uterine/reproductive anomalies do.

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Tbunny:

Good luck today.
When I take my endometrial biopsy, I am going to be knocked out. Most women don't need to be knocked out - but I am very narrow inside and very sensitive to pain so the doctor believes I wouldn't be able to take it without being knocked out - plus I am a nervous person so any procedure really upsets me.

I was thinking of going back on the pill if it is hormonal changes causing the symptoms. If it is a polyp, then he will take it out. Other than that, he told me it could be pre-cancerous changes. I had no tumors show on my ultrasound, so if anything, it may just be starting. That is why every woman needs to be vigilant.

Keep in touch with your results.

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BillieCat, thanks for your good wishes. I would PREFER to be knocked out! They actually tried to do it last week and my cervix would not open. So they will try again today (fun) and if they do not succeed, THEN I get to be knocked out (which also involves a trip to the hospital). I'm hoping it's something that can be fixed with hormone treatments, but given my family history, I'm not holding my breath. I will let you know how it goes.

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Tbunny:

I have had two colposcopies & cervical biopsies since I have had cervical displasia - that was hard enough for me - so that is why the Gyn said I should be knocked out. Even my Pap tests hurt me - they have to use the infant speculum! It is very narrow in there plus I know I can't fully relax.

You have guts for trying it a second time! My doctor and I know my cervix won't open up - women over 35 and women who never had children are much tighter in that area.
Have you had any other symptoms of pre-menopause?
Anyway - treat yourself after today's ordeal :O)

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Blech! I just got home from the fun at the gyn. office. First she said my FSH levels did not show menopause, which makes the lack of periods even more suspect. Then on the ultrasound she saw a cyst on one ovary along with uterine hyperplasia (overgrowth of uterine lining) and small uterine cysts.

So she did the biopsy. Somehow I survived although it was pretty unpleasant. I don't know what she did to break into my cervix - she had someone fetch her a clamp or something (my eyes were closed) - but she got in. The best part: if this biopsy comes back negative, she wants me to have another under anesthesia based on what she saw on the ultrasound! Yikes. At least for that one, I will be knocked out!

And DH was kind enough to get me ice cream on the way home - he does love me!

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Tbunny:
Great news - and congratulations on being brave. I went for an exam and to set up my biopsy & hysteroscopy yesterday in two weeks.
The Ultrasound I took a few months ago did show some slight hyperplasia, but the Gyn said that is hard to really determine.
Anyway, I am pretty nervous about it after he read me the bad things that can happen - tearing a hole through the uterus, infection, hemorraghing! I know that they have to warn you and it is rare, but I am so scared.
I don't know how he is going to get my cervix open since I am so small inside, but the anesthetic will help a great deal.
He thinks I may have either a polyp or fibroid, if not, it is hormonal or pre-cancerous changes. If none of the above, he calls it "funny bleeding" - the body just acting strange for no reason.
I hope you are feeling back to normal after it? Thanks for sharing your good results and experience.

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