Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer - What Happens

    Normally, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) builds up and then sheds with each menstrual cycle. This shedding is menstrual bleeding, or a menstrual period.

    But in most cases of endometrial cancer, the endometrium has built up and has not shed and thinned. The lining has remained thick. This is called endometrial hyperplasia. This is a "precancer" stage, and the cells can grow quickly and out of control. These fast-growing cells are cancer cells.

    As the cancerous cells multiply, they form a mass of tissue, which can cause vaginal bleeding. Especially after menopause, this abnormal bleeding is a reason to call your doctor. Of women who have endometrial cancer after menopause, most have vaginal bleeding.

    If endometrial cancer isn't treated, it may spread outside of the uterus. As it progresses, it may spread to the pelvic lymph nodes camera.gif and other pelvic organs. Advanced-stage cancer may spread to lymph nodes and on to the lungs, liver, bones, brain, and vagina.1

    The long-term outcome (prognosis) depends on the stage and grade of your cancer.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
     
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article