Cancer Information

Endometrial Cancer (Cancer of Uterus)

The most common type of cancer of the uterus begins in the endometrium and is called endometrial cancer or uterine cancer. While cancer of uterine muscle is called uterine sarcoma, is less common. Cancer that begins in the cervix is also a different type of cancer.

As uterine cancer grows, it may invade nearby organs and later may spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver, and bones. Cancer that has spread from the uterus to other parts of the body is called metastatic uterine cancer.

The following risk factors for Endometrial Cancer are known:

  • Age - Endometrial cancer is most common in women over age 50.

  • Race - Endometrial cancer has been found to be more common in white women than in black women.

  • Overweight - Overweight women are more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer as women of normal weight.

  • Endometrial hyperplasia - Women who have endometrial hyperplasia have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer.

  • Estrogen replacement therapy - Women who use estrogen replacement therapy to control symptoms associated with menopause may have an increased risk of uterine cancer. Using a combination of estrogen and progesterone decreases the risk linked to the use of estrogen alone.

  • Tamoxifen - An increased risk of developing uterine cancer has been found in women taking the drug tamoxifen for the treatment of breast cancer.

  • Other cancers - Women with a history of colon cancer, rectal cancer, or breast cancer have a slightly higher risk of developing uterine cancer than do most other women. Women who have had uterine cancer also have an increased risk of developing certain other cancers.

  • Other risk factors for uterine cancer are also related to estrogen, including having few or no children or entering menopause late in life.