The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus, which is the hollow organ where the fetus grows. Most cancers of the uterus begin in this inner lining and are called endometrial carcinomas, though some begin in the muscles of the uterus, which are called uterine sarcomas. Cervical cancer sometimes metastasizes and spreads to the uterus.
Endometrial Cancer Risk Factors
The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 49,560 new cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually. A woman has a 1 in 38 chance of developing this type of cancer during her lifetime.
Risk factors for endometrial cancer include:
- Using an IUD (intrauterine device)
- Getting older
- Having increased estrogen levels due to certain birth controls or estrogen therapy
- Having a family history of endometrial cancer
- Having previously had breast or ovarian cancer
- Being obese
- Having diabetes
Signs & Symptoms of Endometrial Cancer
See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Unexplained weight loss
- A pelvic mass
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal bleeding (after menopause or between periods)
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
While there are currently no screening tests aimed specifically at finding endometrial cancer, Pap tests may help to detect cervical cancer before it has a chance to spread to the uterus. Women at a high risk for endometrial cancer may want to discuss the following testing options with their doctor:
- Endometrial biopsy
- Imaging-guided biopsy
- Pelvic ultrasound
Treatment for endometrial cancer will likely include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Endometrial Cancer Education, Screenings & Treatment at BayCare
BayCare is proud to offer a variety of cancer services throughout Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and all of Tampa Bay. Call (855) 314-8346 for a physician referral or find a doctor near you.