Also called: Uterine Cancer; Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer is a cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the womb). It is very common in the United States. Five years ago, there were about 50 thousand cases of endometrial cancer a year. It is projected that in another five years, there will be about 60 thousand cases per year in this country. That’s because the primary risk factor for endometrial cancer is obesity.
Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer is a disease that often presents early because women have symptoms early. Post-menopausal bleeding, for example, can a symptom of endometrial cancer. Any degree of post-menopausal bleeding is abnormal and should warrant investigation. If a woman has gone through menopause and two years later she has a little bit of spotting, she needs to see her healthcare provider. Even if it doesn’t come back, she needs to see someone because it can be that subtle. Fortunately for the majority of women, it is going to be early-stage at the time of diagnosis. Most women are cured with surgery. Not all, but most women with typical endometrial cancer can be cured at the time of surgery.
Uterine sarcoma is an uncommon form of uterine cancer that forms in the muscle and tissue that support the uterus.
Obesity, certain inherited conditions, and taking estrogen alone (without progesterone) can increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Radiation therapy to the pelvis can increase the risk of uterine sarcoma. Taking tamoxifen for breast cancer can increase the risk of both endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. Learn more from the National Cancer Institute.