For an in depth PowerPoint on Uterine Cancer, click here.
Definition of endometrial cancer: Cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops). Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
Estimated new cases of endometrial (uterine corpus) cancer in the United States in 2016: 60,050
Endometrial cancer is both the most common type of uterine cancer and the most common cancer of the female reproductive system, accounting for approximately 6 percent of all cancers in women in the United States. The incidence rate of endometrial cancer is only slightly higher in African American women than in whites.
Several factors are associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer, including obesity, exposure to endogenous or exogenous estrogens, tamoxifen use, and certain inherited conditions. Factors associated with a reduced risk include engaging in physical activity, taking oral contraceptives that combine estrogen and progestin, and having a history of pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Surgical removal of the uterus or hormone therapy may be used to prevent endometrial cancer in women with endometrial hyperplasia. There is no standard or routinescreening test for endometrial cancer. Standard treatments for endometrial cancer include surgery,radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biologic therapy.
The following stages are used for endometrial cancer:
In stage I, cancer is found in the uterus only. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB, based on how far the cancer has spread.
- Stage IA: Cancer is in the endometrium only or less than halfway through the myometrium(muscle layer of the uterus).
- Stage IB: Cancer has spread halfway or more into the myometrium.
In stage II, cancer has spread into connective tissue of the cervix, but has not spread outside theuterus.
In stage III, cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but has not spread beyond thepelvis. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC, based on how far the cancer has spread within the pelvis.
- Stage IIIA: Cancer has spread to the outer layer of the uterus and/or to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and ligaments of the uterus.
- Stage IIIB: Cancer has spread to the vagina or to the parametrium (connective tissueand fat around the uterus).
- Stage IIIC: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis and/or around the aorta(largest artery in the body, which carries blood away from the heart).
In stage IV, cancer has spread beyond the pelvis. Stage IV is divided into stages IVA and IVB, based on how far the cancer has spread.
- Stage IVA: Cancer has spread to the bladder and/or bowel wall.
- Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the pelvis, including theabdomen and/or lymph nodes in the groin.
All information was taken from the NCI (National Cancer Institute)