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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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Rhonda:

Do you know if ovarian cancer can be detected from an endometrial biopsy? I know it can detect uterine cancer.

Thanks, BC

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Hey BillieCat,

I'm still waiting for the results of my biopsy (should have them in the next day or two). I felt kind of "off" the rest of the day after I had it done - tired, crampy, etc. Didn't have a lot of bleeding, just slightly more than normal (normal for me lately is some constant light spotting - just enough to have to wear a pantyliner). I think I took some more ibuprofin after I got home, too.

I'll be sure to let you know what they say with the results.

When are you going for yours?


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Hi Tbunny:

Thanks for your info. I am taking that day off of work and the day after - next Thurs & Fri.
This month has been strange - the spotting turned into bleeding before the period started. The bloating and other problems were also magnified this month more than any other. He said I didn't ovulate at least twice these past few months.

I wrote a thread in the Gyn. section to see what other women have to say....
I am glad you are okay and just have some spotting. I know when they read you the risks it is scary but nothing bad usually happens.
It would be nice to get some answers. I know you have the situation of not having periods although you are not in menopause. I may either have polyps/fibroids, hormonal changes, or pre-cancerous hyperplasia. I never had children so I don't know how he is ever going to stretch my cervix!!
But I suppose he can do it while I am out.....
Anwyay, did your doctor ever mention Polycystic ovarian disease to you?

Take care!

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Taking the day of and the day after off work is a smart idea!

I've never had kids, either, so my cervix was also an issue. She did manage to get it to open enough to get the instrument in there (but I don't wanna know how!). So far they haven't really discussed any of the possiblities with me re: specific diseases. I think she was waiting for the results to come back before going into any depth.

Over the weekend, I started taking Midol trying to alleviate some of the PMS-type symptoms I've been having (mostly bloating and breast tenderness). I don't know if it will work as well as I'm hoping, but I figured I'd give it a shot.

I'll look at the Gyn section to see what kind of responses you're getting. The more information we have, the better off we'll be!

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Hi Tb:

I guess it is just you and I for this endo biopsy discussion, both in this thread and the Gyn thread that no one wrote to ....

I hope you finally get to feel better soon! I am not looking forward to next Thursday, but maybe by being knocked out I won't tense up so that may help a little bit.

It is a good idea to keep informed about what can be going on so you know what to ask your doctor, but this is a very tricky area of the body! The hormonal interplay along with other health issues that affect menstruation is so complex that it gets so hard to understand - and I even studied pre-med for awhile.

My husband is concerned about ovarian cancer since I have those symptoms and it is named the silent killer. I am not sure this biopsy can even detect that but hopefully my transvaginal ultrasound would have picked that up (it only showed the thick uterus). I think the problem with ovarian cancer's symptoms is that they are very general and can show up with other problems in the body.

I do remember seeing you on the MNK forum :O)
I will send good thoughts your way for a positive result. Even when things don't turn out "normal" on these tests there is still a lot of good things they can do.
I hope your overall health is good so you can get through this strange thing happening to the uterus.....

Take care !!!

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Hi BillieCat,

No, ovarian cancer cannot be detected through an endometrial biopsy.

An endometrial biopsy is used to screen for endometrial cancer, as well as help determine the cause of abnormal menstrual periods.

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Tbunny,

Have you received your biopsy results yet? Waiting is the hardest part!

BTW - I love the photo of the bunny...too cute.

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BillieCat,

I hope all goes well with your biopsy. I understand what you are going through. It's difficult not knowing exactly what is going on with your body.

Please keep us posted.

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Update - I have an appt tomorrow to review the results of the biopsy and get a "pre-surgery" work up. Next week (Thurs) I will be having the scope and a D&C. Fortunately, I will be knocked out for it (hooray). BillieCat, is that the same day you're going for yours? Wondertwin power: happy thoughts! I will just be happy to get through this next step and closer to some answers. And I will definitely follow your lead and take a day or two off work!

We have also not said anything to my mom/family so far - she's a worrier and I don't want to stress her out with the waiting. I'm a fan of one step at a time, gather facts and form a plan of action then fretting about the "what ifs".

(Rhonda, the bunny is a former foster of mine - Kirby - who was/is absolutely adorable. He got a wonderful home and is the light of his adopter's life!)

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Hi Tb:

Yes, next Thursday is my D&C and scope at the hospital - what a coincidence. I will be off Thurs & Friday of next week - I would advise you to do the same if possible!!
No aspirin, Vit E, fish oil, ginger for this week.

I will do the pre-test tomorrow - a blood test & physical.
I saw your post in the gyn section - I would also like to hear everyone's reaction to the procedure afterwards.
I heard there is slight pain and bleeding. That is not something I will be looking forward to but I will think positively....I will be happy just to have that and nothing major.

My mom is the biggest worrier! She knows of the test but I never let the doctors give out any result of mine to anyone but me. My husband is also a worrier but my mom has made a career out of it.

Let us know tomorrow what the biopsy says!

I also love your bunny pic and Rhonda, that dog is so sweet. Animals mean the world to me!

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Hey BC,
I just posted in the other thread as well.

No big news from the biopsy (hyperplasia) - which is why she wants to do the scope and d&c.

I went for the pre-surgery stuff today, too - got the big list of do's and dont's. Also went to the drugstore and bought pads for the first time in years (it felt really weird - I had no idea what kind to get!) Not looking forward to bleeding and cramping, but whatever. It will be fine.

My mom never used to be weird about stuff, but in the past 10 years or so, she's started to freak out about everything. So the less she knows until there's real results, the better!

I'm looking forward to lots of rest and relaxing with my bunnies (and the mouse) - they are so calming to be around.

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Hi guys,

Can I pipe up and say Vitamin C works wonders before the anaesthesia? I took copious quantities before my cyst removal surgery and D&C and came out of it better than I had ever before.

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Hi Malamutes:

No one mentioned this to me, but many years ago I had nasal surgery and was told to take Vit C.
I am taking that now; I have to stay away from Vit E & fish oil.

Thank you for your post - it is nice to have help from someone who went through it.
I hope the D&C wasn't too painful afterwards? TBunny & I are both going through this on Thursday and don't know what to expect afterwards!
I may be having a fibroid or polyp removed at the time - if there is one there.

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Hi TB:

My mom and your mom sound like sisters. Sometimes I take after her but I try not to.
I am glad you had no big news from your biopsy. So off we both go on Nov 1 for the scope & D&C! Did they tell you there would be bleeding similar to a period? I just heard some bleeding - I don't know how much.

I had my bloodtest & physical this morning at the hospital. I then got a white hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts and a pumpkin muffin.

Talk to you later about the countdown to Thursday.... :O)

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Hi BC,

They told me the bleeding should be NO MORE than a period; that if it's more, to let her know right away.

I had never heard about the Vit.C, Malamutes. We always have some on hand because DH is paranoid about cold season. I'll have to get into his stash!

And to top this whole thing off... today I am cramping and spotting more than usual. Which kind of makes me glad I have this thing scheduled already.

Hot choc. and pumpkin muffins sound like the perfect cure!

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Hi Tb:
As you know I also wrote to you on the other Gyn thread - I really hope you are feeling better! Maybe your biopsy the other day is causing you to have a period?
Hopefully this will be resolved for the big day on Thursday, or maybe they will push it back?
I just asked a nurse at my Gyn's how much bleeding is considered too much and she said if a pad gets soaked every half hour. She told me I am also getting a polypectomy. I said that I may not even have a polyp.
Anyway, she told me that the procedure is pretty safe - I wanted to let you know that before Thursday, because I am panicking already and want to back out.
It made me feel better.

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Hey BC,
I am getting ready to go into work today. The bleeding seems to be worse with activity, so I'm only planning to stay as long as absolutely necessary.

I do think the biopsy plus my activity level last week caused the bleeding to start. When I talked to the dr. office yesterday, everything is still on track for Thursday as long as my bleeding doesn't get worse.

I'm actually not too worried about the procedure itself - as I plan to be fully knocked OUT! They can do whatever they need to and just tell me about it afterward! ;-)
At this point, I just want it to be over and get my life back to normal!

Happy thoughts... happy thoughts... ;-)

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Your in my prayers Tbunny n with continued prayers for you n all who has this.

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Thank you, Hjm.

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