Endometrial cancer starts in the lining of the uterus, and most often occurs in women over 55. It is a type of uterine cancer.
Endometrial cancer also is the most common gynecologic cancer in women in the U.S. Endometrial cancer is curable. It is important to get an early diagnosis before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
What is endometrial cancer?
Endometrial cancer is the most common uterine cancer. With endometrial cancer, cells in the inner lining of the uterus are growing out of control. Stages of endometrial cancer are:
Stage 1: Cancer is only in the uterus
Stage 2: Cancer is in the uterus and cervix
Stage 3: Cancer is spread beyond the uterus to the pelvic area
Stage 4: Cancer is spread to the bowel, bladder, stomach and other organs.
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A common sign of endometrial cancer is abnormal bleeding. If you have irregular bleeding, such as bleeding after menopause or between periods, see your healthcare provider. Your provider will want to rule out cancer and other serious medical problems. Other endometrial cancer signs include:
Treatment is usually a series of different methods that can include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy.
Surgical treatment for endometrial cancer may be a hysterectomy to remove the uterus. The fallopian tubes and ovary also may be removed. Surgery may be done in combination with radiation therapy. Women who have a hysterectomy can no longer have children.
Chemotherapy: Women also may undergo chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Chemotherapy may be given by pill or intravenously (IV therapy).
Hormone therapy may be considered for women with advanced endometrial cancer that has spread outside the uterus.
Clinical trials using new cancer-fighting drugs may be an option for women with an advanced stage of endometrial cancer.