If you’ve entered perimenopause you are experiencing changes to normal things like your period and hormone levels. Does your new transition to perimenopause impact anything else, like your chances of getting endometrial cancer? See the following for answers to common questions about endometrial cancer during perimenopause:
Yes, women can still get endometrial cancer after they enter perimenopause. The decrease in hormone production–what causes a woman to become perimenopausal–does not impact the endometrium in terms of getting cancer. Mayo Clinic explains that endometrial cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining of the uterus. Perimenopause does not mean your uterine lining goes away.
Simply being in perimenopause does not increase your risk of getting endometrial cancer. However, some hormone therapy treatments may increase your risk depending on the type. The American Cancer Society explains that estrogen alone improves the symptoms of perimenopause but increases the risk of endometrial cancer. A way to decrease that risk is to add progestin to the estrogen treatment because it brings the hormone levels back to balanced.
Not all perimenopause treatment options are hormone based. Explore alternatives to hormone replacement therapy.
Most women with endometrial cancer have early symptoms. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states the most common symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal uterine bleeding. Symptoms for perimenopausal women include irregular menstrual bleeding, spotting and bleeding between menstrual periods. For women that fully enter menopause (when a woman no longer has menstrual periods for 12 months), any bleeding is considered abnormal.
Endometrial cancer is something to be aware of at every stage in your life, even during perimenopause. It’s important to know the signs of this cancer and any factors that could increase your risk of getting it, but there is no need to add extra worry to your plate about entering perimenopause. As with every stage of life, always schedule an appointment and talk with your provider.