Is this topic for you?
This topic provides
information about cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrium).
It does not cover cancer in the muscle of the uterus, which is called uterine sarcoma. This topic focuses on type I endometrial cancer, which is the most common kind of uterine cancer.
If you are looking for information about
cancer of the cervix, see the topic
What is endometrial cancer?
Endometrial cancer is the
growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the uterus. The lining is called the
endometrium. Endometrial cancer is also called cancer of the uterus, or uterine
Endometrial cancer usually occurs in women older than 50.
The good news is that it is usually cured when it is found early. And most of
the time, the cancer is found in its earliest stage, before it has spread
outside the uterus.
What causes endometrial cancer?
The most common
cause of type I endometrial cancer is having too much of the hormone
estrogen compared to the hormone
progesterone in the body. This hormone imbalance
causes the lining of the uterus to get thicker and thicker. If the lining
builds up and stays that way, then cancer cells can start to grow.
Women who have this hormone imbalance over time may be more likely to get
endometrial cancer after age 50. This hormone imbalance can happen if a
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of endometrial cancer include:
- Bleeding or vaginal discharge not related to your period (menstruation).
- Difficult or painful urination.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pelvic pain.
How is endometrial cancer diagnosed?
cancer is usually diagnosed with a
biopsy. In this test, the doctor removes a small
sample of the lining of the uterus to look for cancer cells.
How is it treated?
Endometrial cancer in its early
stages can be cured. The main treatment is surgery to remove the uterus plus
fallopian tubes. This is
called a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The doctor may also remove pelvic
and aortic lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread.
A woman whose cancer has spread may also have:
It’s common to feel scared, sad, or angry after finding
out that you have endometrial cancer. Talking to others who have had the
disease may help you feel better. Ask your doctor about support groups in your
Frequently Asked Questions