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Awareness

Risk factors

Although the exact cause of uterine sarcoma is unknown, it has been linked to certain risk factors.

A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of getting a disease. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer, and not having risk factors does not mean that you won’t get cancer. If you think you may be at risk of uterine sarcoma, you should discuss this with your doctor.

The known risk factors for uterine sarcoma are:

  • past treatment with radiotherapy to the pelvis
  • treatment with tamoxifen for breast cancer. If you are taking this drug, you should have a pelvic exam every year and report any vaginal bleeding (other than menstrual bleeding) to your doctor as soon as possible.

Uterine sarcoma is not infectious.

Symptoms

The symptoms of uterine sarcoma include:

  • bleeding from the vagina that is not part of menstrual periods
  • bleeding after menopause
  • a mass in the vagina
  • pain or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • frequent urination.

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms, so having these symptoms may not mean you have uterine sarcoma. However, you should get examined by your GP.

If necessary, your GP will refer you for tests to see if you have cancer.