Non-invasive diagnostic techniques for endometrial cancer in primary care (PhD)

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Project Summary

Womb cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in the UK and its incidence is rising (1). Although most women are treated successfully with surgery, 1 in 5 women are diagnosed with advanced womb cancer when cure is unlikely (2). If we could diagnose all womb cancers early, we would save lives.

For most women, the first symptom of womb cancer is postmenopausal bleeding. For 9 in 10 women the bleeding is nothing serious, however, all women undergo a series of tests to exclude womb cancer (3). These include an internal ultrasound scan, a camera test and a biopsy. Some women find the tests intrusive and painful, which may be one reason why women with postmenopausal bleeding do not see their GP straight away. A new test for womb cancer that is quick, accurate and patient-friendly could help.

We have developed a new, non-invasive test that could help identify womb cancer in women with postmenopausal bleeding. It is simple, easy to administer and acceptable to women. A large multicentre diagnostic test accuracy study of the new test in underway in Secondary Care. If our test were accurate, it could be performed in Primary Care to help GPs decide which women need specialist referral and which can be safely reassured.

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