DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Much is written about breast cancer, but little is written about uterine cancer. I just had my uterus removed because of it. I have not been given chemo or radiation. Do I need either? I am 62. – C.B.

Every year, more than 40,000 American women are diagnosed with uterine cancer. It’s also called endometrial cancer. The endometrium is the lining tissue of the uterus and the place where most uterine cancers arise. Uterine cancer causes the death of around 7,000 women yearly in the United States. Breast cancer affects many more women and leads to many more deaths. That’s why you hear more about it.

Uterine cancer most often strikes after menopause, usually in the 60s. Not having children, a young age at the start of menstrual periods, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes make women more likely to come down with it. There are many women who have had uterine cancer, however, who have none of these attributes.

Vaginal bleeding in any woman who has gone through menopause is a sign that should alert that woman to the possibility of uterine cancer. One good aspect of this cancer is vaginal bleeding. It’s a sign that gets women to the doctor quickly.

As a result, more than 70 percent of uterine cancers are discovered early, and the five-year survival rate for such cancers is 95 percent.

The usual treatment for early uterine cancer is removal of the uterus, ovaries and tubes. The ovaries and tubes are removed because they are in such close proximity to the uterus that they might harbor cancer cells. Furthermore, removal of the ovaries gets rid of the primary source of estrogen. Estrogen promotes the growth and spread of uterine cancer cells.

In more advanced uterine cancer, chemotherapy and radiation come into play. I take it you were not at that stage of cancer because you received neither. You don’t need either.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have a humiliating problem. I cannot use public restrooms to urinate. I am a 34-year-old male, and I never have been able to use them, not even in schools. Is it possible for me to get over this hang-up? – M.F.

Sure, it’s possible to overcome this reluctance to use public restrooms. It’s not an uncommon inhibition. It even has a name – bashful kidney.

It’s similar to stage fright, from which many actors initially suffer, but they learn to conquer it.

You have to desensitize yourself by forcing yourself to use public facilities, even if you find it impossible to empty your bladder. Gradually you’ll become less intimidated.

If this is causing you real trouble, your doctor can prescribe a medicine like propranolol, which reduces performance anxiety. Many musicians use it. It’s not something that you take on a regular basis or for life. It’s something that gets you over the paralysis that this situation causes you.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have taken Lanoxin for many years. In looking through a book on drugs, I saw that you’re not supposed to use fiber when you take it. I have been on a high-fiber diet for as long as I have taken this drug. Haven’t I gotten any benefit from it? – F.O.

Lanoxin (digoxin) is a digitalis medicine used for many heart conditions. Fiber interferes with its absorption. You can take both, but not at the same time. Take the medicine at least an hour before you take the fiber, or take it two hours after the fiber.

Your doctor would have detected if Lanoxin wasn’t working for you in all those years that you were taking it. The doctor didn’t say anything, right? I take that to mean the drug was working.

Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

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