Doctor: Heed post-menopausal bleeding

Dec. 6, 2011 at 1:11 AM

DALLAS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Recognizing possible symptoms of gynecologic cancers can lead to diagnosis and timely treatment, a U.S. gynecologic oncologist says.

Dr. Debra Richardson of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said women who have gone through menopause, for instance, should not experience any menstrual bleeding.

"Any bleeding -- even spotting -- after menopause is not normal and should be checked out by a gynecologist," Richardson said in a statement.

Some common causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:

-- Polyps are usually non-cancerous, but these growths can develop in the uterus, on the cervix or inside the cervical canal.

-- Endometrial atrophy: The tissue that lines the uterus can become very thin after menopause.

-- Endometrial hyperplasia: Sometimes the lining of the uterus becomes thick, usually due to too much estrogen and too little progesterone. Some patients may have abnormal cells that can lead to endometrial cancer.

-- Cancer: Bleeding after menopause can be a sign of endometrial or uterine cancer.

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