Endometrial cancer is now the fourth most common cancer among women in Singapore, compared to its eighth spot about 10 years ago. Doctors say the disease is affecting an increasing number of women over 40 years old.
Wong Lee Pheng, who is in her 50s, discovered she had endometrial cancer in September last year, after experiencing excessive bleeding for a few days. Ms Wong said: “Shocked. I mean I burst into tears of course, because (I) cannot believe cancer can happen to me.”
She was one of about 60 women who sought treatment for endometrial cancer at the National University Hospital (NUH) last year. NUH says that of the 60 women, more than 90 percent are over 40 years old and about 80 percent were diagnosed as having stage one endometrial cancer.
Dr Joseph Ng, a consultant at NUH Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, said: “If we look at all the other cancer profiles, we’ll probably find that endometrial cancer is probably one of the fastest growing cancers.”
Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. The cancer arises in the tissue layer that lines the uterine cavity and causes heavy and irregular vaginal bleeding. At its advanced stage, it spreads to neighbouring organs such as the bowel, bladder and lymph nodes, with painful symptoms. Dr Ng said that an ageing population and lifestyle factors have contributed to the rise in endometrial cancer statistics.