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Endometrial Cancer

In New Zealand, approximately 380 women develop endometrial cancer each year.

This makes endometrial cancer the most common gynaecological cancer in women across Aotearoa New Zealand.


Endometrial cancer appears to be increasing in women under 40 years of age.

What is endometrial cancer?

What are the symptoms of endometrial cancer?

Know the signs.

The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is:

Abnormal bleeding from the vagina - especially in women who have had their menopause and stopped having periods.  Most cases of endometrial cancer are picked up because of post-menopausal or irregular vaginal bleeding.  Irregular bleeding can be vaginal bleeding after the menopause, bleeding that is unusually heavy or happens between periods or vaginal discharge - from pink and watery to dark and foul smelling. 

Less common symptoms  include:


  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen

  • Pain during sex


Advanced endometrial cancer can cause more symptoms, as it has spread to other arts of the body including: 

  • Loss of appetite and weight

  • Tiredness or weakness

  • Feeling or being sick

  • Constipation

  • Feeling breathless

  • Passing urine more often than usual

If you have any of these symptoms listed above, particularly if:

  • They are not normal for you

  • They are persistent

  • There are repeated episodes

  • They do not go away sure to visit your doctor for a check up.


Remember, early diagnosis can save lives. Most women with symptoms like these do not have cancer. Your awareness of your symptoms is the first and most important step.

Risk factors:

  • Most endometrial cancers are driven by the female hormone, oestrogen.

  • Overweight or obese women are more likely to develop endometrial cancer that women of a normal weight.  

  • Factors related to your menstrual history can increase the risk of endometrial cancer, such as starting periods early or having a late menopause.  Having oestrogen-only Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or taking Tamoxifen can also increase the risk of womb cancer.

  • Women with diabetes are more likely to develop endometrial cancer.

Donate today

Awareness saves lives. Help us to educate and inform women across Aotearoa about the signs of gynae cancer.

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. 

The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where the baby grows.

Endometrial cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining  of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is a form of uterine cancer. Other types of cancer can form in the uterus, including  sarcoma( from muscle of the womb), but they are much less common than endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which prompts women to see their doctors. If endometrial cancer is discovered early, removing the uterus surgically often cures endometrial cancer.