Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer, also known as endometrial cancer, occurs when an abnormal growth forms in the uterine tissue. Most uterine cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus.  This form of cancer is rare in women under the age of 45. Most cases of uterine cancer occur in women 55 and over.

Know your risk.

While rick for this cancer is fairly low (about 1 in 37), there are several risk factors to be aware of.

  • Obesity
  • Early menstruation
  • Late menopause and
  • Some medications (talk with your physician) 
  • Family history of certain types of colon-rectal cancer and uterine cancer. 

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

If caught early, uterine cancer is treatable and survivable. It’s important to be aware of some of the following symptoms, and make sure you maintain your regular check-ups with your gynecologist.

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Pelvic pain and/or sudden weight loss

If you notice any of those symptoms, you should meet with your provider. At your appointment, your physician will ask you about your family history and other risk factors and may perform a pelvic exam before referring you to a specialist. Gynecologists can diagnose endometrial cancer and even treat early cases. An ultrasound and biopsy of the endometrium will likely be necessary to determine whether or not the growth is benign or cancerous.

Surgery is the main treatment for most women, as removal of the affected area may remove the cancer entirely. However, in certain situations, other treatments may be used. The choice of treatments depends largely on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease when it is found. Radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy are the other treatment options available for this disease.