An ultrasound scan can be used to detect endometrial (womb) cancer before any symptoms occur, according to study conducted at University College London.
The researchers analysed the findings of ultrasound scans of more than 37,000 women to identify thickening of the endometrium, the womb lining.
The analysis showed that the scans identified a significant difference in womb lining thickness in the 133 women who were diagnosed with womb cancer or atypical endometrial hyperplasia, a precursor of the cancer.
The average endometrial thickness for these 133 women was found to be 11.5mm, while the average thickness for women not diagnosed with either condition was 3.5mm.
Researchers were able to classify 25% of the screened women as high risk based on factors associated with endometrial cancer.
Among the high risk group, nearly 40% of the women had endometrial cancer or atypical endometrial hyperplasia.
The scans were undertaken as part of the UK Collaborative Trial for Ovarian Cancer Screening, which involved more than 200,000 UK women.