Uterine cancer, also known as endometrial cancer, is a type of cancer that develops in the lining of the uterus. The uterus is the organ in a woman’s body where a fetus develops during pregnancy.
The exact cause of uterine cancer is not known, but it may be linked to hormonal imbalances, such as an excess of estrogen in the body, obesity, diabetes, and a family history of uterine or colon cancer.
Symptoms of uterine cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods or after menopause, pelvic pain, pain during sex, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Diagnosis of uterine cancer typically involves a physical exam, a pelvic exam, imaging tests (such as an ultrasound or CT scan), and a biopsy to remove a small sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus for further examination.
Treatment for uterine cancer depends on the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the individual’s overall health and preferences. Treatment may include surgery to remove the uterus, ovaries, and/or nearby lymph nodes, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Prognosis for uterine cancer is generally good when detected and treated early. The 5-year survival rate for localized uterine cancer is over 95%. Regular pelvic exams and discussions with a healthcare provider about personal and family medical history can help with early detection and treatment of uterine cancer.