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What Should I Know About Screening?

A group of middle aged women

There are no simple and reliable ways to test for uterine cancer in women who do not have any signs or symptoms. The Pap test does not screen for uterine cancer. The only cancer the Pap test screens for is cervical cancer.

Screening is when a test is used to look for a disease before there are any symptoms. Diagnostic tests are used when a person has symptoms. The purpose of diagnostic tests is to find out, or diagnose, what is causing the symptoms. Diagnostic tests also may be used to check a person who is considered at high risk for cancer.

Since there is no simple and reliable way to screen for any gynecologic cancers except for cervical cancer, it is especially important to recognize warning signs and learn what you can do to reduce your risk.

If you have symptoms or believe you may be at high risk for uterine cancer, your doctor may perform an endometrial biopsy or a transvaginal ultrasound. These tests can be used to help diagnose or rule out uterine cancer. Your doctor may do this test in his or her office, or may refer you to another doctor. The doctor might perform more tests if the endometrial biopsy does not provide enough information, or if symptoms continue.