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"Can a thickening of the uterus lining mean cancer?"


I had an ultrasound for pelvic pain and other menstrual problems the other day - my doctor told me that I have a thickening uterus. So does this put me at a higher risk for cancer or could it be because I have cancer right now? I'm worried because there's actually a history of uterine cancer in my family.


Menstrual problems are one of the most commons for which women seek medical attention. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor. There are many causes for menstrual problems, and often your doctor will perform an ultrasound at some point during the workup.

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This ultrasound may show uterine thickening. The first type of uterine thickening, which is more common in menstruating, younger women, is a thickening of the muscular layer. This is called leiomyomatosis. Although it is a benign condition, it is a very common cause of pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities, and bleeding. As such, sometimes it requires treatment with medications or surgery. The second type of uterine thickening is thickening of the uterine lining or endometrium. This is usually a normal finding in menstruating women at various times in the menstrual cycle. In post-menopausal women, it can be more concerning as it may be a sign of endometrial cancer. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor is highly recommended.

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